Footsteps marched down the long, white hallway. The turned a corner, and disappeared. Now was his chance.
With the silent agility of a cat, Brendan crept out of a roof vent, lowered himself down, and ran down the now empty hallway. He ran along the walls, staying out of view of the ceiling cameras. He reached another hallway, and paused. He took a mirror and shone it around the corner, watching for the next camera. He watched as it turned a full 180, pointed in his direction, and began to turn again. Just as it was pointing away, he bolted across the hallway and into the next one.
Now was the tricky part. His target was within view, only a few meters away. It seemed like nothing was between himself and the last door. However, he knew that this was a trick, designed to lull him into a false sense of security.
He took out his infra-red sensor, and pointed it down. As he thought. Beams of light, representing lasers, appeared on the sensor. If he stepped on either one, he’d be zapped, set off an alarm, or one of a dozen other rough outcomes. No matter. This was nothing he had dealt with before.
The first one was at his waist level. He crouched down, and crawled under it. The next, right after, was along the ground, with one above it. He raised himself up and rolled over it. Then there was a series of three, going from the ground up. He put one hand against the wall, then a foot against the other. He pressed hard, lifted himself off the ground, and raised himself horizontally between two of them. He forced himself through, and dropped. The next ones were above ground, so he crawled, and jumped over the last one. “HA!” he thought. “Too easy.” Finally, he had made it.
His heart pounded in anticipation. This was it, the final result of months of work. Months of research, gathering information, memorizing layouts and patrol times, faking keys and identification, had brought him here. If he pulled this off, he’d be the greatest- and richest- thief in the world.
Behind those doors wasn’t any normal prize. It wasn’t money, or gold, or some kind of expensive artwork. Behind those doors was something much more valuable, something that many people didn’t even know existed.
Behind those doors was the world’s only working time machine.
Constructed by the Order for Global Security, a secretive organization that dealt with many illicit affairs, it was used by the organization to control things in their favor. Using it, they could change stocks, create demands, end deals before they began, or even stop opponents from ever coming into power. With it, they could literally control the world. Understandably, there were many people who wanted to get their hands on it.
He reached into his pocket. Once he had the machine, it would be easy to get out. Simply go back in time when there was no building there, walk away, and go forward again. Or freeze time and walk out. Or go forward when it was forgotten and back again. Really, the possibilities were endless. All he had to do was get through this door. Laughing, he took out the key he had made weeks before, following a design he had stolen from the security. Shaking with anticipation, he put it into the door.
He frowned. Something was wrong. Why wouldn’t it turn?
He tried again. Still didn’t turn.
The blood drained from his face. This wasn’t the same lock that was there before. It had been changed. Which means… oh god.
He looked around. The hallway looked different then it had moments ago. There were suddenly more cameras, and all pointed at him. He took out his infrared and pointed it down. All the lasers had switched positions. They knew he was coming, and he played right into their trap.
There would be some kind of punishment, he knew. They wouldn’t let him get away with this. He doubted it be legal, the things they were making were far too secret for that. This would be something else entirely.
He felt something in his pocket. He reached into it. A note had appeared, apparently placed in an alternate time. He shivered with fear, realizing they could change any part of him by going back into time. The results wouldn’t be fun for him, as the organization was known for having very particular ways of deal with enemies. Death, or even extreme pain, wasn’t likely. The organization preferred to make a public example of their enemies, and then keep them under watch. They did it with a strange sense of humour that kept many from challenging them.
He opened the note.
Congratulations on making it this far. Of course, we knew from beginning you would do this. In fact, we knew before you did! But it was still interesting to see you try. You certainly have some impressive skills that may prove useful. However, first, you need to be taught to that the Order will always be a mistake, and possibly re-raised with a new mentality. At the same time, you of course must be made an example of.
So, we are going to perform a test. If you can demonstrate your skills to a desirable extent, then you will be allowed to carry on, serving the order while being monitored. The more your skills fail you, the more you will be punished.
The security measures around you have been changed, as have many of the streets. You have 10 minutes to make it to 143 Cassiden Street, or we start changing you. Good luck, and god’s speed.
PS: You won’t like the changes we make on you.
PPS: Don’t try to drive yourself."
Brendan paled. Changes? What could that mean? And what would re-raising imply?
He took out his cell phone and searched for a map of the area. As it said, many things had changed. In fact, he seemed to be in an entirely different area. Cassiden street was miles away. He doubted anyone could make it, and he doubted he was even supposed to make it. What if this was all just their game? Still, he knew he’d be punished either way, and the longer he took the worse it be. He had to play their game, he supposed. He looked at his watch. 12:10, at 12:20 the changes would begin.
He shown is sensor down the hallway again. Where before there had been only a few lasers, there were now dozens upon dozens.
He scrambled as best he could going through. Under one, over the next, between two more… What made it worse was that they were clearly changing as he went through. He struggled, running out of breath as he did, until he was finally in the clear. He ran by, simply ignoring the lines of camera’s that pointed right at him.
He looked at his watch. 12:15. Half way done, and he hadn’t even made it out of the building yet! He gritted his teeth and ran faster.
A large double door came within sight. After that, he’d at least be out of the building. He ran towards it, then groaned. Seemingly out of nowhere, a pair of guards in blue uniforms appeared, staring right at him. Perhaps they had picked him up on those cameras he had ignored, and hid somewhere nearby. Perhaps they were planted with the time machine. It didn’t matter. It was just one more thing to deal with.
The first one his hand. “Stop!” he shouted.
Brenden kept on running. The guard too out a baton, and held it threateningly towards Brendan.
Brendan kept running. At the last moment, he jumped and raised his foot with all his momentum behind it. He kicked the man hard in the chest, sending him flying back against the wall. The second guard raised his baton to swing it at Brendan. Brendan ducked underneath and stepped forward, blocking the swing at the elbow and delivering a punch to the man’s solar plexus. He grabbed the outstretched arm and flipped him over his back.
He felt an arm around his neck. The other guard, having recovered from the kick, grabbed him and started to chock him. Brendan stepped to the side and hit the man in the groin, tripped out his leg and stomped him on the ground. By now the second guard was getting up, and Brendan finished him off with a series of punches and a head kick. He looked down at the unconcious guards. “Scrubs” he thought.
More guards were coming down the hall. Brendan ran out the door, and into the open field beyond…
Which was now a city. The streets were empty and dirty, and the tall buildings nearby were filled with broken windows and boarded up doors. A siren screamed in the distance, and the smell of gasoline filled the air. The door behind him, once leading to a clean and pristine building, was now bolted shut and rusting.
“Shit,” Brendan said. The abilities of these time machines really were almost unlimited. From what he understood from stolen reports, they would call up all these areas out of nothingness, or transport victims to new cities. How much of this involved actually changing the history of the area and how much involves simply transporting the victim was difficult to say, as the areas usually returned to normal afterwards, remaining only as a confused memory in the head of the one who experienced it.
He looked at his watch. 12:19. F%*^. One minute. Making the time was a lost cause from the start, he knew. He still had to rush, or else the changes would get worse and worse. He dreaded to think what the first would be.
There was a line of old cars along the nearest street. He ran towards it, hoping to at least make it to one before the first change occurred.
He had no such luck. Something appeared in his hand, and he opened it up to see a scrap of paper. He unwrinkled it, and read.
Good job getting out of the building, and getting past our guards. You are quite the man to fight like that. Too bad you took too long. Expect the first changes to occur, and get worse the longer you take. We will see how long you are ‘quite the man’ for."
“S#!%” he said, and kept running. He dreaded to think what that could mean.
Something felt different. He questioned at first if it was his imagination. It was he legs. Or really, it was his groin. Something around it felt… smoother. Had they replaced his underwear? Why would that be part of it…
Ignoring the thought for now, he broke the window of the nearest car with his fist and opened the door. Once inside, he went under the wheel and began to hotwire it. With years of practise, it only took a few moments for the engine to start. It sparked into life, and began humming quietly.
He sat down on the seat, pressed the pedal, and…
Nothing happened. In fact, the engine had stopped all together. Shocked, he got out of the seat, and checked under the wheel. Had he lined up the wires properly?
There was nothing there. The wires he had just seen were gone. “God damn machine!” he said, cursing the time travelling.
He shouted out in pain. Suddenly there was a stinging sensation across his bum. He stood up. To his surprise, his pants were down around his ankles, and his behind was now a deep red, with multiple hand prints across it. It took him a second to realize someone, in another time, had been spanking him. They really did intend to embarrass him more than anything.
He bent down to pull up his pants. There he saw what had caused the sensation earlier. The long black boxers he had put on that morning had been replaced with a pair of pink, silken panties. He glared at nothing in particular and pulled them up along with his pants. No time to waste removing them now. They wanted to make a joke about him being ‘quite the man’, they could.
He ran to the next car. He didn’t have to give in that easy. He smashed the window as before, opened the door, and got under the window. He checked the wires. Now it was an easy job of attaching the blue wire to the… or was it the red one? Wait, how did this work again?
Suddenly Brendan realized he had no idea what he was doing. But he had done this hundreds of times! All he had to do was remember how. But every time he tried to remember and got to the moment of doing the actual task, the memory disappeared into a haze. He reached for his cell phone, hoping to at least look it up online, if there was a way. However, the internet function was gone. What was going on?
A note appeared in his hand. He opened it up and read.
Glad to see you enjoy our choice of underwear. We all agree it looks better on you, and suits your well.
In case you are wondering why you can’t hot wire this car, the answer is simple. We told you not to try to drive yourself, but you did anyway. We tried to warn you with the spanking at the first car, but you persisted. So, we have simply wiped any training you have had in this from your passed.
Any skill can be forcibly forgotten, and any skill can be returned if it suits us. Don’t test us again."
Brendan was now drenched with sweat. Was there any limit to what they could do?
Oh well, it didn’t matter. He’d make it, and they said they could return the memories to him. He ran down the street. All he needed to do was find someone who would drive him. Technically, that wasn’t breaking the rules. And if that didn’t work out, he’d run the entire way.
After running several blocks towards Cassiden Street, the city began to improve. There were less boarded up doors and cracked windows, and several shops were running around him. Soon he reached a street which was more active. The buildings weren’t worn down, and people were walking up and down the side walk.
He just needed to talk to someone. He had money, and would pay for a ride. At the very least, he could ask for the number of a taxi company.
The group, around half a dozen men in their late teens, turned to stare at him. They were giving him funny looks, and a few seemed angry, while others seemed to be laughing.
Ignoring that, he tried to speak. “Hello, I was wondering…” he stopped. Was that his voice? A once deep and gravelly croon had become higher and smoother. His words came out in a effeminate sing song voice, as if spoken by a young girl.
“The hell are you supposed to be?” one of them said, and began walking angrily toward Brendan.
Brenden gulped, backed up and looked around nervously. Wait… since when had his reaction to a threat been fear? Why would he… He caught a glimpse of himself in the reflection of a nearby window, and gasped.
His clothes had changed. His physique had changed. Everything seemed different. The long dark clothes he had been wearing earlier had been replaced by a silken dress. It was bright pink and decorated with flowers with a white apron and puffy shoulders. The entire thing was overly frilly, with excessive ruffles and bows everywhere possible. His hair was longer now, down passed his ears and tied into pigtails with more pink bows, and his once thick, muscular build had become more slender. As if to add insult to injury, he couldn’t help but notice his legs had been shaved.
He gulped and looked back at the approaching men. It occurred to him he had probably stumbled on a street gang, and looked like a perfect target. Misreading the group that badly was a mistake he wouldn’t have made before.
It didn’t matter. He knew how to defend himself… didn’t he? He put on a stern face and tried to take a stance. He lifted his arms up in fists and spread his legs… or wait… should they be closer together? How did his hands go again?
The group stopped approaching and began laughing.
“Haha aww, do you really think that’s going to work sweetie?” one said.
“Shu… SHUT UP!” Brenden screamed, and realized he was pouting. This only caused them to laugh harder.
“Did your daddy teach you how to fight? I’m sure you’re a tough little girl,” another said.
Giving up, Brendan turned and ran. So that was another skill gone… he couldn’t defend himself anymore. They didn’t follow, they seemed too caught up in laughing.
He passed more people along the sidewalk. Most turned to stare at him, and a few snickered or outright laughed. He did his best to ignore it.
He checked his watch. 12:40. He needed to get a cab as quickly as possible.
A note appeared in his hand. He groaned, and stopped when he heard his own high pitched whine. He opened it up, and read.
Awww, poor little girl. Were you trying to start a fight? Naughty girl." As he read this, Brendan felt another sting on his bottom, and realized he had gone through another spanking. He winced and kept reading.
"You will find fighting isn’t a good idea anymore. Until we say otherwise, your once impressive skills, and even your coordination, will be lacking. After all, it isn’t proper for cute girls like you to fight.
Now, it seems you have had trouble making it in time. Clearly, you are lacking in some areas of your training. So, we will be moving back, and restarting. I suggest you hurry."
Restarting? What could that mean? Dreading to think of it, he continued on.
Once again, something was different. Once again, he noticed it first around his groin. His underwear felt thicker. As he walked, he could hear it crinkling. Dreading what he would see, he turned to face a wall, and, hoping no one would notice, he lifted his skirt.
He gasped and almost began to cry. He fought back the tears, knowing full well that he wouldn’t have normally responded like that.
For a second he wanted his silk panties back. Then he remembered that that too was wrong, and wished for his boxers. Instead, he now wore a thick Disney Princess pull up.
Enraged, he reached down to tear it off. He found he couldn’t break it, so he pulled it down to his ankles.
He screamed in pain, and put his hands on his bottom as it burned worse then before. He heard giggling behind him. Looking back, he saw his skirt had been pinned up to his back, revealing a bottom now even more tender and marked with a strap. A crowed was behind him, seemingly following him to see his embarrassment. They were pointing and laughing at his clearly spanked behind, along with a note attached to his back which read “naughty girl”.
He pulled his skirt down and kept walking. He heard laughter again, and turned back to see his skirt was once again pinned up again, this time revealing an even thicker white garment. His eyes went wide. He lifted the front of his skirt and looked, confirming his suspicions.
The boxers turned panties turned pull ups had once again changed, this time into a thick disposable diaper. It looked, in every way, like a baby diaper, with thick tapes on either side and pictures of teddy bears along the front. Making matters worse, the note on his back had changed to “naughty baby,” and the marks of his spanking were now visible along his legs.
He reached down to take it off, then stopped. How… How did this work again? He knew it was something to do with the tapes… or was it the bottom part? For the life of him, he couldn’t think of how to remove it.
A cold dread went down his spine. They had made him wear it, but had they made it necessary? He tried to remember how to use the toilet, but shook the thought from his mind. He didn’t want to have that question answered just yet.
He groaned in disgust, and let the skirt fall. He tried to ignore the fact that it now barely covered his diaper, leaving the bottom exposed and the rest visible whenever he stepped. It had become significantly shorter, and now featured the words “Baby Girl” along the front. “Oh come on!” he thought, “Even real baby dresses don’t say that!” He groaned and continued. He felt something on his head, and found a pink bonnet to compliment his new look.
He continued down the street, waddling as quickly as his padding would allow. The crowed still followed him, giggling and awing at his appearance.
He noticed something in his mouth. Reaching up, he found a pacifier. Griming, he spat it out, and kept waddling.
He felt it again. He reached up, and the pacifier was still there. He tried to take it out, but something stopped him. As he reached for it, the thought of losing it suddenly frightened him, and he suckled on it harder. He tried to fight against it, but his instinct as to suckle. It must have been some kind of hypnosis, he realized. Even with the knowledge, he couldn’t seem to fight it. He gave up, and kept going.
Finally, he found what he was looking for. A yellow cab was coming down the street, directly toward him. He called out, and waved for it. The cab driver gave him a funny look, but pulled over.
“Hewwo, can oo take me toos Cassidean road? One fower tree.” Brendan asked. Dear god, was that his voice now? The higher pitch was one thing, but he now spoke in a barely comprehensible lisp, sounding more like a child then anything else.
The cab driver laughed. “Awww, sure thing sweetheart. Is that where your mommy is?”
Brenden blushed, and didn’t answer. He got in.
The cab turned around and drove. He tried to make conversation with Brendan a few times. “So… did you lose a bet or something?” He asked first. Brendan didn’t respond. Later, he spoke again. “Do you need those diapers? Let me know if you need them changed.” Brenden blushed further, noticing the change from assuming it was a joke to assuming he needed it. Brendan looked at his watch. 12:55. How much more could they change?
Brendan watched the streets go by. They passed out of the large buildings of the downtown core and into the houses of suburbia. Soon, they were on Cassideen, and heading down. 114, 116… 138, 140… Brendan looked at the driver with a start. He kept going, with no sign of slowing down.
“Heys! I says one fowr tree!” he said around his pacifier.
“Don’t worry,” the driver replied. “Your daddy told me what you need little girl.”
Daddy!? Little girl!? Brendan began to panic. A note appeared in his hand. He opened it, and began reading.
"Dear Widdle Brenda,
You didn’t think it be that easy, did you? Don’t worry, since you’re such a little cutie, we are going to give you a hint.
The driver has his own set of instructions. Don’t expect him to take you where you want to go, you are still be tested. You’ll need to get out on your own accord.
You are now almost as far back as we can send you. Don’t worry, you are still the same age as before, and can regain your skills if you show you deserve them. It is disappointing that you couldn’t do better than this, however.
PS: Try to keep your pampers dry."
Brendan looked for a way out. He went to undo his seat belt, only to find he was now in an oversized baby car seat. “Top!” he said, trying for stop. The driver grinned and kept driving. “I Sat gua pa… MUYA NA!!!”
“Hahah yes of course little one, of course,” the driver laughed.
Brendan began crying, realizing he had lost his speech. He still struggled to get out, and finally undid the buckled on the car seat. He reached for the door. The driver cursed as Brendan opened it, and he slowed the car. This was all Brendan needed, and he jumped out.
He got to his feet and tried to run. He stumbled forward. He tried to stand again, and fell. Groaning, he began to crawl, his pampered behind wiggling behind him, realizing that was now what he was reduced too. He looked back over his shoulder, and saw the road was empty. At least he didn’t need to worry about the driver any more, he supposed he passed that test.
He tried to remember what the house number was. He remembered the sound, won for free, whatever that meant. He tried to match the sound with the symbols on the houses he passed, and couldn’t.
However, up ahead he saw two people standing on a lawn, facing him. He crawled toward them, trying to move as quickly as he could. The stood patiently waiting, making no move to come towards him, and forcing him to crawl the entire way.
Finally, he made it. Dressed now in his diapers, dress, and bonnet, habitually sucking a pacifier, hair long and tied in pigtails, body slender, and crawling while barely able to speak or read, he had made it.
One of the two, a tall man in a suit, looked down at him. “Tsk tsk Brenda. I really hoped you’d do better than this. Almost an hour to make it here, and all skills regressed to those of an infant. All the way from an impressively trained criminal to an adult who still needs diapers. How does that feel? How does it feel not even being able to answer that, you poor little baby? Don’t worry, we can return them if you deserve it, or simply train you again from scratch. Linda?”
The man turned away from his gloating, and the person behind him, a woman in a nurse’s outfit, reached down toward Brendan.
“Don’t worry little one,” she said, “I’ll take care of you until you learn better again.” Brendan sulked, now fully realizing what “re-raising” meant.