Welcome to the Machine Part 6Part 7 Part 8 Part 9
Jane and Suzi stared at the door that was swinging in the breeze. Neither quite knew what to do next. Glo's regression had stopped leaving her a newborn. Sara was soon to join her. Jane removed Glo from the stroller and Suzi put Sara in her place.
'What now, Grams?' Suzi asked 'Do you think we should go in there?'
'I guess we gotta! Look at these two....' she said motioning to the two babies 'We can't leave them like this!'
'Why don't I check it out?' Suzi offered.
'No... I'm the oldest so I oughta do it' Jane told her as she handed Glo over to her. 'You wait here'
Jane never noticed it but Suzi was watching her curiously. She didn't look as old as she had at the park. Jane looked 17 at most. Suzi was glad that at least she wasn't affected!
Meanwhile, Jane thought Suzi was still getting older. She wasn't sure but thought Suzi looked more mature now...almost 20! She shrugged it off, glad that she wasn't getting any younger or older!
Inside the house, desk drawers had been opened and papers were everywhere. Young Jane grabbed a kitchen knife for protection as she passed the kitchen. She quietly descended to the basement where once again it looked like someone had been there. She carefully checked out th room. She didn't see anyone and was about ready to get the others when she heard a female voice.
'Hold it right there, sweetie!'
Jane spun around and saw a woman of about 35 pointing a gun at her. 'You must be Stan's wife?'
'Ummmm no.... mam.... I'm his mother in law...' Jane replied with a shaking voice.
'Mother-in-law?!?! Why the hell did you make yourself into a teeny-bopper?' she asked incredulously all the time keeping the gun pointed at Jane.
'Uhhhh..... I'm not a teen... Gee Whiz, I'm 20!'
'20 huh? So you don't know how to stabilize the process either?'
'I don't need to 'cuz I'm not affected but my daughter and grand-daughters are! Who are you?'
'Someone who wants to know how to stabilize the process. Stan said he had it figured out before he died. And for your information..... You look about 16 so obviously you aren't going to be much help!'
'16?!!! Nuh huh! No way!'
'Oh, yes, way! ....And I'll ask you to toss that knife over here before you hurt someone' the woman ordered emphasizing the point with the barrel of her gun.
Jane saw an even older Suzi enter the room. Suzi quickly gathered what was happening and stayed out of view.
'The knife, kid. Lose the knife....NOW!' the woman again ordered.
'Kid?' Jane answered as she reluctantly tossed the knife down.
The woman bent over to retrieve the knife and when she did Suzi nodded to Jane.
Jane saw the nod and instinctively ran at the woman and shoved her into the machine. Both of them tumbled to the ground and the gun fell free.
'Turn it on...quick!' Jane yelled.
'But...?' Suzi said as she ran to the computer terminal.
'Just do it!' Jane told her as she fought the older woman.
Suddenly, the two combatants froze. The machine paralyzed them as it went to work!
Jane's already youthened body quickly regressed even more. Her features softened and she appeared to shrink. The older woman also youthened. Her facial features softened and wrinkle vanished from her face.
Suzi stopped the machine. 'Gramma, run! Hurry!'
8 year old Jane staggered to her feet and tripped over her now large shoes and clothing. As she hit the floor, out of the machine, Suzi restarted the machine before its other occupant could get out.
Jane turned and watched the young woman turn into a teen... and then a young girl...and then a 3 year old.
Suzi shut down the machine and Jane started talking.
'Wow, I'm lucky I got out before I was affected!'
'Grammy, ummmm you better look at yourself!' Suzi told her young grandmother.
Jane looked down at a floor that was much closer to her eyes than it should be. She lifted her arms and looked at the much too long sleeves.
'Gosh! I ~am~ little!' she said as she futively tried to fit into her large shoes.
'And I'm afraid you'll only get younger until we can figure out how to stabilize this'
'Hey! Make me big! Make me big!' the 3 year old in the machine protested.
'Uh, I don't think we better 'til ya tell us some stuff!' Jane told the little girl.
'Gramma is right. You owe us some explaining!' Suzi added.
'You can still make me big.... It just won't stay 'cuz of the 'gression....ummmm in....ummm in-bil'ty!'
'Well, we figured that out already. But it doesn't last and I think we're better off with Sara and Gloria like they are for now. I guess because I made myself older that I don't have the problem of stability that the regressed ones are having. So why don't you start giving us some answers as to why you're here?' Suzi took charge while Jane went upstairs to get the her daughter and grand-daughter.
'I get wittler if you don't fix! Pleeeeeeease fix!'
'I need some answers! Start talking or I'll make you REALLY little in a hurry!'
'Ummm.... I wuz jus' tryin' to get in...inf...ummmm learn stuff 'bout the mash..ummmm .machine.'
'What kind of stuff?' Suzi asked as the little girl sat down on her butt and put her finger in her mouth.
'uhhhhhh..... you.... fix.... K?'
Suzi could tell the little girl was losing the battle with her fast regressing mind. She gave up questioning her when she heard Jane yelling from upstairs.
'Suzi! I need you to help me..OK?'
'What kind of help do you need Janie...errrr Jane?'
'I'm 'fraid to hold the girls 'cuz they're so tiny!'
Suzi went upstairs to see both Sara and Glo were tiny newborns. She sent Jane back downstairs to make a bed out of some blankets and then Suzi seperately took each infant down to the makeshift bed. She knew it wouldn't be long before Janie would be joining them!
By this time, the stranger had regressed to a point where she could join them. Once satisfied the babies were OK, Suzi asked Janie for some help. Janie was now only 6.
'Janie, I'm going to need you to be a big girl and help me. Can you do that?'
'Uh huh! I'll help!' she answered excitedly.
'First, do you remember how Sara figured out how to reverse this?'
'Ummmm she moved the mouse thingy and pushed the button'
'Is that all?'
'Uh huh' Janie added shaking her head.
Suzi methodically clicked through th screens, reading every bit of info. Finally, she found an options screen that had 'reverse' as an option.
'Is this the one?' Suzi asked the increasingly uninterested little girl.
'Think, honey! Please!'
'Ummmm Could be' she said as she started swinging her shrinking legs and looking at some notes on the table. 'Can you read this story to me?'
Suzi glanced at what she was holding 'That's not a story, sweetie.... that's.... That's something that Sara jotted down! Let me see that, please'
Suzi took the paper and began reading. It was directions on how Sara had reversed the process and what she had noted. Unfortunately, the writings turned to doodling. At least she had instructions for the temporary reversal she thought. She figured she would need to reverse one of the babies. She was afraid that if she reversed any more than that she could end up with trouble upon their returning regression. There was still the matter of the mystery woman..... and if she was working alone! The toughest part was deciding who to reverse. Janie's lack of computer knowledge wasn't a positive. Sara had knowledge of computers but Suzi still felt jealous of her and questioned whether she had the maturity to really be of help. She finally decided her mother's wisdom might be the most important factor.
As she weighed her options she stretched on the material of her dress. It was very tight across her hips. Her shoes were growing uncomfortable also. She got up from her chair and walked over to the babies. She bent over and picked up babu Glo. 'Ummph' she complained as she lifted the baby and her back didn't cooperate.
4 year old Janie was largely uninterested now. She looked to be getting sleepy after their long day.
Suzi put baby Glo in the machine and then returned to the computer. After some preparation she started the reversal.
Baby Glo began growing. Slowly at first. Suzi saw the baby grow into a toddler. Then the baby grew into a young girl....then a young teen. Janie watched in fascination as the baby had grown from a newborn into a teenager in only a few moments. 16-17-18-19-20....and then a young woman with features becoming more defined with every passing second. The well defined body then began to change as she passed into and though her 30's. Finally the process stopped with Glo now back to her normal 40 year old body. She was still lying silently on the floor of the machine
Suzi ran to the machine to take her a towel to wrap herself in. Much to her surprise, Gloria didn't grab for the towel but rather still acted the part of an infant. She continued staring blankly and reaching for nothing in particular. All the while, happily cooing.
'Mom?..... Mom?..... MOM!....' Suzi said with concern.
Finally, Gloria's eyes seemed to brighten and she began to speak. But the speech was only gibberish 'Ahh Ga...Mmmmm.... Mahhhhh Ma....'
'Mom? Come on!'
After a couple seconds of the gibberish Gloria began to gather herself and slowly realize what had happened. She grabbed for the towel but still had trouble getting to her feet or grasping the towel. The last few hours as a newborn had taken its toll on her memories and reflexes!
Finally she found her voice. 'Uhhhhhh......Who are you?'
'Mother! It's me.... Suzi!'
Gloria stared at the woman standing in front of her. 'Suzi? That's you? How long have I been gone?' What happened?'
'Just a few hours, Mother. I was trying to figure out what to do before I risked putting you back in the machine. But I ended up with no choice!'
'But you're ~older~' Gloria said.
'Just 16. Only a couple of years. I wanted to be older to see what it felt like. I guess the machine doesn't have the same effect when you only use it to get older.... I haven't changed a bit while everyone else has turned into children and babies!'
'Suzi... Ummmmmm... You're about 16 twice over!' Gloria told her.
'No..... I'm fine!'
'Look at yourself! I mean really ~look~! Do you look like a 16 year old?'
Suzi looked down at her expanding hips and legs that threatened to sprout varicose veins at any time. She examined her dry hands. A quick glance in the mirror confirmed what Gloria had been telling her. The 35 year old puffy face staring back looked nothing like a teenager!
'Ohmigod!.... NO!' she cried out.
'Settle down.... we'll figure this out. We need each other!' Gloria said calmly.
'Ok....you're right. I'm sorry. We can do this together!'
'Ok, get me up to speed on things..... and WHO is THAT?!?' Gloria asked seeing a 2 year old struggling in oversized clothes.
'Mother? That's my mother? Her too... And that?' she asked pointing to another child.
Suzi began filling her in on the mystery woman and what they had done to her.
Gloria sighed and then spoke 'Why did you leave Sara and mother little?'
'Because... I was afraid of the trouble that little kids could cause! Look what happened when everyone starting getting too small the first time. That would only happen all over! I didn't know what to do or who to ask... except you. You always know what to do!'
'Well, thanks for the vote of confidence but I don't know much about computers. And this mystery woman knowing about this machine can't be good.'
Suzi picked up some papers Sara had made notes on 'Here, these are some notes Sara did about what Dad had discovered. Sara wrote that Dad found out the regression/progression was successful by causing the cells or genes to somehow be reprogrammed. She then said that he once they were reprogrammed they quickly tried to return to that state... even after a reversal. There's more but it starts getting a little off because she was getting to young to understand'
Gloria looked over the papers, quickly skipping past what Suzi had just told her. 'Who's Mark?' Gloria asked upon seeing that Sara had scribbled his name all over one of the pages.
'That's the boy we saw playing basketball.' Suzi replied.
'Hmmmm well that would explain this picture' Gloria said as she looked over a childish drawing of some stick-figures playing ball.
'Anyway, mother, our little mystery guest said Dad had found the solution and that is what she is looking for.'
'I think we're going to have to make her old enough to tell us what is going on' Gloria said as she placed the baby back in the machine.
'But how do you know she won't get away?' Suzi asked.
'I thought about that.' Gloria replied as she took the blanket away from the baby 'I don't think she'll likely be going anywhere in only her birthday suit!'
'Ohhhh... I hadn't thought of that!'Suzi said.
'Plus, you can regress her to diapers if she tries anything!' Gloria added.
They then started the machine and reversed the process. The naked baby soon became a naked 35 year old.
'What's wrong with her?' Gloria asked upon seeing the grown woman still acting like a newborn.
'I guess that's normal. Just talk to her and she should come out of it.....you did!' Suzi replied.
'~I~did????? This is sooooo embarrassing!' Gloria said as she began talking to the unresponsive adult. Finally the woman came around.
'Don't move or Suzi will have you in diapers again. Stay right there! We have some questions for you.' Gloria stated icily.
'At least give me my clothes!' she pleaded as she used her hands to cover herself as best she could.
'~Sorry~ but we need answers!'
'I don't have to tell you ANYTHING!' the woman answered.
'You will or you'll be back in diapers!'
'Actually, YOU will too!'the mystery woman shot back 'You're already getting younger...and look at your daughter.... she'll be an old woman! And your mother has joined your other daughter in infancy.'
'So then why don't you help us? Then we can ALL be OK?' Gloria asked.
'Because I want this technology for myself! I don't want to share it with any of YOU! As far as the world will know, I invented it!' the woman said as she backed up and leaned against the back table.
The women argued. Gloria couldn't understand what the woman stood to gain by not helping. After all, she was going to be a baby again if she didn't help! They had already lost 10 years. Suzi was now 45. The varicose veins were prominent now. Her knees were knobby and her face sagged.
'We're getting nowhere!'
All of a sudden the woman made a move! Suzi clicked the mouse to restart the machine but nothing happened.
'You fools! I reset the machine from the laptop computer!' she yelled as she dived to the floor and retrieved her gun.
Suzi saw her go for the gun and quickly made a dash for the stairs while she had the chance. Gloria tried to beat her to the weapon but came up short! Suzi found out that her 45 year old body didn't move like her 14 year old body had been able to! Fortunately, the mystery woman had to fight off Gloria and that allowed Suzi time to escape.
Unfortunately, Gloria was trapped at gunpoint now!
'OK, Bitch! Tables are turned!' she said as she pulled off Gloria towel. 'Now...into the machine!'
'NO!' Gloria protested.
The woman put the gun to Gloria's head and changed her mind. Gloria reluctantly stepped into the machine.
'W...W...What are you going to do to me?' Gloria asked nervously.
'THIS!' the woman said as the machine came to life.
Gloria froze instantly. The lights scanned her and then shut down.
Gloria inspected herself. Nothing had changed! 'What did you do?'
'I scanned you mentally. Now I'm going to take some of that burden from you by storing it in the computer.'
'Stan figured out how our bodies are programmed to age.... how our memories are stored. And ~somewhere~ how to stabilize this. As soon as the computer analyzes and sorts your memories that it's copied, I'm going to let it reprogram your mind without the last 35 years included!' The woman smirked while still pointing the pistol at Gloria.
'That can't be! That's impossible!' Gloria cried out.
'Impossible? After all that has happened today you say something is impossible?' The woman shook her head in disgust.
'But I'm getting younger anyway....why do this?'
'Because this gurantees that you won't be a bother to me even IF someone reverses your age!' The woman the laughed as she saw the computer was ready. She clicked the button that started the machine.
Gloria's eyes widened! She opened her mouth to scream but nothing came out. The computer took much longer for this process. The mystery woman began studying notes while Gloria was being reprogrammed.
Meanwhile: Suzi had went back to the Park. She had started out in a run but her nearly 50 year old body wasn't up to the task. She hoped to find Mark. She needed someone whom she could trust and was strong and unaffected by the machine. Mark was the only one she could think of. She could hear voices but had trouble seeing in the distance. Her eyes were not as good as they had been. Out of breath, but she had to continue on. She didn't know what else to do.
Basement: After a long while the computer finished the reprogramming. The mystery woman looked up. 'Hello, little girl.'
'~Hi~' Gloria answered shyily.
'I'm Annie. What's your name?'
'Ummmm I'm.. Glo' she answered in a quiet voice
'That's a nice name.' Annie said as she approached her and offered her hand.
Glo apprehensively took the hand of the woman she percieved as older.
'You better get dressed and then you can help me watch the babies while I work' she said as she handed her a towel. 'You should be able to find something to put on upstairs...OK?'
'K!' Glo answered as she happily ran up the steps while holding the towel around herself.
Annie smiled with an evil grin as she sat back down at the computer.
Park: 'Mark! Can you come here please?' Suzi yelled ahead breathlessly, hoping to not have to go any further herself.
Welcome to the Machine Part 8
Mark looked up to see the older woman yelling for him. Her stringy grey hair was disheveled and she was bent over tryng to get her breath.
'Is that your Grandma?' one of the boys asked.
'Nahhh I don't know who it is....maybe she's a basketball fan?' Mark replied with a laugh.
'~Time out~' he said as he went to meet the woman.
-- The basement:
Glo had found a robe to wear and had also retrieved a stuffed animal from one of the girls' beds. Her body had again regressed to her 20's but her mind stayed lock at 5. She played with the animal and giggled at the antics of the babies. Being a 'babysitter' made her feel like a 'big girl'!
Annie, the mystery woman, was flying through the computer. She almost had all the pieces to find out what Stan had discovered in order to stabilize the process. She had set an alarm clock with a note attached to warn her when she was getting too young to continue the work. She knew from experience that the process was almost undetectable to the person experiencing it. She figured by her early teens she should again use the machine to reverse her de-aging...if she hadn't figured out Stan's stabilization process by then. Stan hadn't stored all his notes on paper. Some were in the computer... but they were stored randomly.
'Do I know you?' he asked as he looked over the strangely dressed matronly figure in front of him. She was wearing a dress that few women over 30 would wear and it was fitting her sagging body poorly at that!
'Yes...It's ME!... Suzi!'
'Yes...SUZI! Don't you recognize me? we just talked here a few hours ago!'
'But the only Suzi I talked to was.....' his voice faded.
'Yes..ME! It's me... '
Mark recognized the dress but the older woman wearing it was 40 years older than the Suzi he knew.
'Is this a trick?' he asked as he looked around as if to see a film crew ready to jump out at any moment.
'No... Let me explain...'Suzi said as she started explaining what had happened.
Mark was skeptical until he noticed that Suzi was still getting older. The lines on her face had deepened in the time that had been talking. Finally, he agreed to try and help her. They headed back to the house. He had to slow down in order to allow Suzi to keep up. Her pain ridden knees were not helped by the heels of her pumps. Once back at the house they crept up to a back window to see what was happening in the basement.
Mark looked and saw two young women. The youger of the two was at the computer. She appeared to be around 20. The other young woman didn't look much older. She was watching over the babies and didn't seem concerned with the woman at the computer.
'I thought you said that your mother was being held hostage?' Mark whispered.
'She ~is~' Suzi answered while looking in herself. 'I don't know what is going on.... But look how much younger they've gotten!'
Mark had to agree that no one in the room could possibly be old enough to be the mother of a couple of teenagers. He also could see that Suzi was approaching 60! The two continued watching and listening. -- The basement: 'I'll be..... HERE IT IS!!!!' Annie exclaimed. 'The subroutine was already built into the program.... Why didn't Stan want us to have this? He added a scan to record the subject's pattern and then a 'restore' to actually cause the body to reset everything! A simple reversal didn't work so he did a reset.... DAMN! That was too simple, Glo!'
Glo had been listening to Annie but had to correct her 'You said ... 'bad word'!'
'I'm sorry, I got excited.' Annie replied 'Just one lose end...Finding Suzi... and then this whole thing will be taken care of! I wonder how old she is? Suzi's too old to be too much trouble.... And no one for her to turn to!'
'Suzi? Who's Suzi Aunt Annie?' Glo asked
Annie laughed. 'An ~old~ bothersome woman!'
Glo giggled at that and then asked. 'Will I be pretty like you when I grow up Aunt Annie?'
Annie glanced in the mirror. She looked about 16. She hadn't realized how young that she had gotten even though she could tell Glo's body had been regressing. Glo had regressed to around 18.
--Outside of the house-
'What's she done to mother?' Suzi asked worriedly.
'Maybe she's hypnotized or something?' Mark said after thinking about it. 'I've seen hypnotists make people think were kids and stuff!'
'They're getting so young.....' Suzi said.
'And you're getting like ~really~ old' Mark told her.
For a few moments Suzi's greatest fear was Mark seeing her grow old, but then she realized their were others to worry about rather than just herself. 'We have to do something, Mark!'
'Just chill, Suzi! We'll think of something.'
'Glo? Aunt Annie needs to do a little test. Why don't you step up there?' She said motioning to the machine. 'Can I take, Pooh Bear?' Glo asked holding up a stuffed animal.
'Sure.... Just hop up there!'
Glo stepped into the machine and hugged Pooh Bear 'Ready, Aunt Annie'
Annie knew she didn't have too much time. She wanted to test the 'restore' function of the machine before she tried it on herself. According to Stan's notes it worked in a way much like the mental part did. Glo was 16 now and Annie knew that she was even younger than Glo! Both girls' voices were growing higher.
'I'll just use the 'restore' function to restore you to your proper age. How old are you, Glo?' Annie asked with a sly grin.
'Five' Glo answered innocently.
'Five, it is!' Annie replied as she started the machine.
'Hey, we gotta stop 'em!' Mark said as he started to run.
'No... Not while mother is in the machine. She could do worse to her! ...and us too....!' Suzi said stopping him 'Besides.... She's got a gun. ......I've got an idea....'
14 year old Annie watched as 16 year old Glo's hands slid completely inside the sleeves of her robe. The bottom of the robe grew closer to the floor....and then even closer! Freckles sprouted on Glo's cheeks and the bridge of her nose. Her hair grew straighter and lighter. 10-9-8-7-6-5. The machine shut down. Glo stood in her huge robe. It was pooled at her feet.
'My wobe's too big.....?' Glo said as she kicked at the excess material.
13 year old Annie wasn't listening. She was busy finishing instructions for herself in case she forgot how to operate the machine. She hoped that the 'restore' process was stable....she was getting bored being around all these kids! She just wanted to restore herself to 35... no, 25 she thought... and gather up her machine!
'You gonna shut off that 'larm clock?' Glo asked.
'How's come my stuff's so big?' Glo asked Annie whose clothes were also larger.
'It just isn't made to fit a little girl is all' Annie replied, hoping to satisfy Glo's curiosity.
'Oh. Are ya done with me now?' Glo asked.
'Yip, Sorta. Just like stay here though!' Annie told her as she turned off the alarm clock.
Annie continued watching Glo. She was getting really bored with everything. She could tell Glo was having lots of fun playing with the stuffed animal and some things she'd gathered from the table. It was only when Annie felt her shoes dropping off that she remembered what she was doing. She didn't think that she'd gotten any younger , but the fact that her shoes had simply became too large and fallen off were obvious signs that she had. She read over her instructions.
'Cool! You still look 5 years old!' 10 year old Annie said as she examined Glo for any signs of youthening. 'Boy, I better hurry and fix myself now!'
Glo wondered what she was talking about 'Hows come you're gettin' wittler Aunt Annie?'
'Ummmm It's just tem...temp.. Ummmm I'll be big in a little bit!'
'Oh Boy!.... Can I be big too????' Glo asked with enthusiasm.
'Nuh...uh...It's only for grownups like me' said the 9 year old as she got in the machine. She grasped the instructions tightly. She'd already forgotten exactly how to operate the machine. She wished that she had used smaller words in the instructions. She was only glad that she had drew a few pictures because that made it easier.
She stared at the Lap Top that was in the machine and finally started it. The computer screens came to life and reported that they were scanning DNA....then that they found a match. Then it began the process of returning Annie to adulthood.
Mark, who had sneaked into the house with Suzi and was waiting for the machine to fire up, burst into the basement.
'Don't worry, mam.... we have a plan!' he told a confused Glo as tears started to form on the small child.
'Suzi...Suzi....What do I do?' he yelled waiting on the old woman to hobble down the steps.
'I'm at the machine.... what am I looking for?' he pleaded
'Eh? Speak up..... Mike....errrr Mark?' Suzi answered in a feeble voice.
'Quick, what do I need to do to the computer....It looks like it is finishing up!' he yelled as he saw Annie had regained her height and feminie curves. Annie had set the machine to return her to 25. She was almost there!
'Do? That's a ~powerful~ machine.... I remember back when I first saw that thang....'
'Suzi! There's no time for that now!'
'Time?....' Suzi answered as she was only growing progressively more confused and senile by the second.
The machine suddenly stopped!
'HEY!' Annie yelled as she saw someone at the computer. She started to run toward the intruder.
Mark panickly clicked on the first thing he saw. Annie froze as the machine read and stored her mental patterns.
'What's going on, Suzi? Is it working?' he asked the now senile and weak old woman.
She didn't seem to hear him but rather stared blankly around the room.
Finally, the machine again stopped . Nothing appeared to have happened. Annie shook her head trying to collect herself. Mark looked at the screen and once again blindly started it before Annie could make her move.
The machine was still left with the settings that Annie had used on Glo. It was going to reprogram her with only the first 5 years of her memories intact.
After a while the machine finished its task. Again, it appeared to Mark as if nothing had happened.
'D, D, D...Don't move... or else I'll use this on...you ...you right now!!!' Mark stuttered as he tried to figure out how to properly use the machine.
Annie's face suddenly changed. 'Did...I...do....somethin' wrong????' she said as tears began flowing.
'What?' Mark replied as her reaction took him by surprise 'Of course you did something wrong!'
'I...I...I'm ....sooooooorrrry! I won't do it anymore...I promise!!!!' Annie said not even knowing what she was apologizing for!
'Are you OK?' he asked.
'Uh huh...' she replied as she wiped her nose with her sleeve.
Mark read the computer screen. 'Target reprogrammed with 0-5 years....Success'
It then dawned on him why Annie was acting so strange. She thought she was a 5 year old!
'What's your name and how old are you? he asked as he confidence started growing in his control of the situation.
'Ummmm Annnnnie and I'm this many' she said hold up her hand with all 5 fingers unfurled.
'What's that paper you have there Annie?'
'Ummmm I dunno...' she said while handing it to Mark.
Mark quickly saw that it was the instructions on how to restore a machine users age and stabilize them at any any age.
'COOL! Suzi...Look at this' he said as he turned to see Suzi lying on the floor.
'Damn! SUZI! What's wrong?'
She never answered. Her breathing was weak and she had grown too old and frail to stand. Her mind was gone at this point. Mark ran to her and tried to lift her. She offered no help of her own. Fortunatley Mark was able to lift her skeleton like frame relatively easily and carry her to the machine. 'Hold on for just a few more moments...please....!!!!!' he pleaded as he laid her down in the machine.
He then ran back to the computer and started following the directions. He saw no reason to take her to any age except her true age. He hurriedly double checked his settings with the instructions and watched the machine go to work. It scanned her DNA for a match and then began to go to work.
Suzi's body began to grow younger. It took a while as she had progressed to a very advanced age. At first only some color seemed to appear in her skin tone. Then her muscle tone improved... and then some more. Her hair finally darkened and lost some of it's stringyness. Finally she reagained some semblance of youth. 30-20-18-16-15-14
It took a few moments for the cobwebs in her head to clear. 'Mark?.. Am I back to normal??'
'I think so!'
Then she saw Annie. 'Mark, lookout! It's her!'
Annie stopped and looked confusingly at Suzi.
'Uhh She's forgot a few things... like the last 30 years or so!' Mark told Suzy.
'What?' Suzi asked, not sure of what she had heard.
'Little Annie here is this many!' Mark said as he held up his open hand. 'Just ask her!'
'That's Ok... Serves her right!' she replied 'Ummm maybe we better restore, mom? Mom, are you ready?'
No one answered. Glo continued playing with her stuffed animal deciding that it was more interesting than anything going on around her.
'I think Annie must've used the mental thing on her already.... just like I used on Annie.' Mark said helpfully.
'Uhhhh Gloria?...Errrrr Glo?' Suzi said.
'What? Me? Are you gonna make me big too????' Glo asked hopefully.
'Uhh yeah.... Get in the machine' Suzi told her.
Glo happily got into the machine. This sounded like fun!
As soon as she was ready Mark fired up the machine just as he had done for Suzi. The machine found a recent DNA match and then went to work.... for a couple of seconds ..... and then reported it was finished. Glo still looked like a 5 year old!
'Mom? uhhhhhh Glo?' Suzi said.
The youngster didn't look happy. 'You said I would be big!!! You lied...liar liar liar!! No fair!'
'Mark? What did you do wrong????'
'I don't know. Like, everything was just like it said!' Mark answered looking at the instructions.
'She must've like done something else to her!' Suzi decided 'Damn!'
'Bad word.. bad word.... bad word... ' Glo mockingly said.
'OK, let's try and fix Sara. Maybe it'll like work for her and she'll know what to do!' Suzi hoped. 'If I can just figure out which one she is....' she added as she looked at the two almost identical looking newborns!
Finally, she remembered a birthmark on Sara and so was able to pick the proper infant. She wrapped her in a large towel and then instructed Mark to start the machine.
This time it worked! Sara began growing. Her feet poked out from under the towel and then her hands. Legs and arms soon followed. Her hair began filling in and growing. Her body grew and began filling in. Finally, Sara was again 16! ....At least her body was. She'd been a newborn for a long time and her mind wasn't ready to grow up so fast. She curled up and placed her thumb in her mouth.
'Sara! Snap out of it!' Suzi yelled.
Sara cooed and kicked her legs aimlessly and seemed happy to remain in her infant world.
'Sara! C'mon!!!!!' Suzi implored with more force.
Sara simply waved her arms toward Suzi.... as if she wanted to be picked up!
That did it! Sara's eyes widened and she took in her surroundings. 'Wha...oooh ggahh???'
'Sara.... you're OK now... Just give it a couple of seconds.' Suzi told her.
'Ak... I.... baby??? I ...n...no... baby???
'No, Sara. You're 16 again. We need your help!' Suzi answered.
'Ummmm ten.... six..... ummmmm six....ten... six...teen! ' Sara said while shaking her head.
'Yes, you're back to 16! And it's stable. Now shake off the cobwebs and help us!'
After a few more minutes Sara began to regain control of her reflexes and thoughts. 'Oh my!.... That was getting a little ~too~ comfortable!'she said as she secured the towel around her body 'So what is going on now?'
Suzi gave her a rundown of what had happened. Sara looked over the instructions and a few of the notes that Annie had found and printed out.
'Let's go ahead and try and get gramma restored and then I'll see what is different about mom' Sara ordered.
They put baby Jane into the machine and also wrapped her in a towel.
'So we don't have to restore someone to their full age and a can like still be stable?' Sara asked before she started the machine.
'That's what Annie did. She shoulda been older.' Suzi answered as she saw Annie and Glo gleefully playing. 'Why?'
'I dunno...just asking... 'she replied as she set the mchine to age Jane to only 25. 'I thought I'd let Gramma decide if she wanted to be old again'
The machine fired to life. Soon, baby Jane was growing. When the process ended Jane was 25. As Suzi tried to bring her back from her infant mind, Sara worked on her mother's problem.
Jane finally rejoined the adult world.
'Girls, I....' her hands grabbed her throat as she heard the younger sounding voice.
'MOMMY!!!' Glo yelled upon hearing her mother's voice. She ran to Jane and gave her a big hug.
Suzi explained things to Jane and also told her that they decided to let her decide how old she wanted to be.
Jane and Glo had some time to themselves. Before thios day Jane had never thought that she'd see her little girl again. And they were both young.... Jane actually was younger than before Glo was born but Glo didn't notice.
'I think I found it!' Sara finally exclaimed 'The restoration process performs a kind of celluar reset. So the most recent pattern of Glo...errrrr mom.... is as a 5 year old. That's waht the machine tried to use. Her original pattern should still be stored from the first time she used the machine. We can use that!'
Mark was amazed at what a computer whiz Sara was. He knew this had to be the strangest day of his life, but he was glad he got to see Sara in this setting.... and in the towel!
'COOL!' Suzi said upon hearing Sara had a solution.
'Ummm Girls... I have a proposition' Jane said 'It's been a rough few weeks for your mother. Why don't we let her enjoy this for a few days. It might do her some good. Plus, I think it'll be good for me too. Just a week or so..... maybe a couple. What do you say?'
Suzi and Sara saw how happy Glo was with Jane. That was a big change from how she had been in the days surrounding Stan's death. Jane seemed pretty happy also. After some thought they agreed to wait.
'What about Annie?' Mark asked.......
Annie soon found herself in diapers and left at a local church with a note: Please take good care of Annie. I can't properly provide for her and only want her to have a good home.
The girls knew Jane... now Janie.... liked her newfound youth. They had saw her growing increasingly flirtatious with a 19year old who was working his way through college while working at the local grocery store. They figured that she just liked the attention until one night she came home and asked if the girls could 'watch' their mother because she had a date! Their jaws dropped open wide when she told them with whom she had a date!
'What about the age difference?' Sara asked.
'That stuff doesn't matter nowadays Older women and younger men don't even raise an eyebrow these days!' Janie replied. 'Besides..it's nothing serious!'
The girls just laughed. They continued playing with Glo while Janie got ready for her 'date'.
As they played with Glo, the lights dimmed. The two teens looked at each other.
'You don't think.....?' Suzi asked
'Uhhhh Nooooo Surely not!' Sara replied.
'Suzi, Sara? Ummm do I like look fat in this dress?' A barely 20 year old Janie asked while modeling a short skimpy dress and strappy sandals.