Chapter 23 - Phone Home
"God, what were you wearing?" Emily asked in disgust, staring down at herself. "Is this a shirt?"
Alisa squirmed as she watched her own body start to undress itself, untying the ribbon and unbuttoning the shirt before getting to the shorts beneath and tugging them out. "Oh, my God," Emily giggled. "Well, I guess these count as big girl panties... Barely. Where did you get these?"
"I was in a hurry," Alisa mumbled, whimpering as she felt another cramp from the enema. The enema she'd given to this body, before taping the diaper onto it. And since she was now in this body, she'd essentially done that to herself. She really regretted deciding to get revenge, even though, clearly, Emily had been lying to her after all.
"Whatever," Emily rolled her eyes. "Maybe some of my old clothes will fit." She turned, starting to walk back out of the room.
"Where are you going?" Alisa pleaded, watching herself walk away. "You can't leave me like this!" She couldn't help but wonder if Emily had been playing her all along, and all that talk about losing her memories had been to make Alisa feel sorry for her... But if she hadn't, would the same rules apply to someone who had been mind-switched to a regressed person's body?
"Believe me, I'd rather not," Emily scoffed, looking down at her new body again. "But if I can't find where that bitch hid my regressor, this is better than that, at least until I find something new." She laughed at the confused look on Alisa's face. "Oh, sweetie... You don't get it, do you? Well, I suppose I do owe you a bit of an explanation. That woman you saw earlier isn't my mother. That was Selena, my supposed assistant. I came up with the idea for the regressor beam in college, but after an accident, I ended up as a teenager again. Of course, nobody at the school believed that was what happened, and they kicked me out, thinking I was just some kid pretending to be me. I wasn't about to go back home like I was, and I couldn't even try to get my own place looking like I did, so I thought I was lucky when I heard from someone interested in helping me continue development.
"She hooked me up with Selena, someone to pretend to be my mother while I worked. Of course, Selena decided that, to fit in, I'd have to act like a normal teenager, which meant school, and babysitting, and... ugh, like it wasn't bad enough going through all that the first time! I had a lot more important things to worry about than homework, which is why I pawned it off on you. I wouldn't have even bothered, but Selena is big into playing her role, and if my teachers told her I didn't turn in my homework, she would punish me. It was ridiculous! And it was my first clue that something wasn't right.
"That's why, while I was trying to perfect the regressor, I was also working on the 'wand'. I had a feeling that, once I was done with it, Selena wouldn't hesitate to use the regressor on me so she could keep me as her child, so I built something that I never let her see, in the hopes that, when she found it while searching my things after she did... that..." she gestured towards her old body, stuck in the crib, "...to me, she'd be curious enough to press the button, which would open a path to let my consciousness switch places with hers. Unfortunately, it turned out she was smarter than I assumed. So it was lucky for me that you weren't."
"But I..." Alisa started to protest, only to be stopped as one final cramp hit, and, in one large rush, her body evacuated the contents of its bowels, gushing out into the seat of her diaper.
"That's kinda creepy to watch," Emily wrinkled her nose, staring at her old body as it did its work. "Look, just sit tight, and hopefully I'll be able to switch us back before long, okay? And if you're a good girl, maybe I won't call Ms. Farber before I do, though if this is how you dress yourself on your own, it's pretty clear you need someone to take care of you. I just hope Selena isn't turning the machine over right now..."
"Don't go!" Alisa begged, wrapping her hands around the bars and watching helplessly as Emily went back out into the hall. "Don't leave me like this!" This time, she meant more the state of her diaper, than the body, though of course she would rather have gotten both fixed if she thought Emily would actually do it. Just like the night before, she was being left in a crib, in a messy diaper, by Emily, except this time, she was supposed to be the babysitter. At least this time she didn't have any homework she was being forced to do, though even if she had, what would it be? At Emily's new age, she'd be lucky to be working on her numbers, maybe her ABCs.
If Selena was so into treating her like her physical age, and Emily didn't switch them back before the woman got home, did that mean Alisa was going to be spending her time at daycare now, sitting among actual toddlers and being treated like one, "learning" basic things she'd known for longer than she could even remember? Even if the regressing didn't sap her mind back to that age on its own, she had a feeling that a few weeks, or months, of that would leave her feeling like a real toddler anyway. After all that time being treated like a baby, now she really was one.
She paced across the crib a couple times before getting bored, not to mention tired. Emily must have had a long day, she reasoned, what with going to school and finishing up her invention and then being turned into a toddler. She didn't really want to sit down, for obvious reasons, so instead she laid down on her stomach, continuing to watch the door, waiting for some sign that Emily's search had been fruitful, and she could go back to her own - from this world, anyway - body. It felt extra frustrating for her to be stuck here when, finally, she'd made her way back to real underwear. She had been so certain it wouldn't happen... She supposed she should have known something would happen before long to undo it. It would have been nice to have been able to wait a little longer before messing herself, though. It felt like she was spending more time in full diapers than clean ones lately.
She sighed boredly as she looked around. Suddenly, she didn't mind the whole homework thing from the evening before as much, because at least it was something to do. Now, all she had was the toy phone she had put in there herself, and she wouldn't be caught dead playing with that. Though, as the minutes ticked on, and Emily didn't return, she found her eyes returning to it again and again. She reached out once to put the receiver back in place, which only drew her attention to it more. It looked rather old, though that might have been because it had a rotary dial. She stuck her finger into one of the holes, pushing it slightly before letting go with a sudden thought.
In the stories, she had seen all kinds of different devices used to regress people. Ray guns, remote controls, huge machines, all sorts of things. She couldn't remember anyone ever using a phone, but there was no reason it couldn't work, was there? It would be a pretty brilliant place to hide it. All you'd have to do was dial in the age you wanted and pick up the receiver. Perhaps Emily had done that to hide it from Selena. Of course, that didn't make much sense considering Emily was now scouring the house for something else, when Alisa had dropped the phone right in there with her.
Alisa had assumed that Emily made up the whole thing about the mind regressing gradually to the age of the body to garner sympathy, but what if she hadn't? What if the process had already started in Emily and she hadn't realized it, and didn't remember that her device had been right in front of her? The more she thought about it, the more it made sense. Things usually happened for a reason in stories, sometimes more than one. She had put the phone in there to be mean, sure, but what if there had been another, more grand, reason that she herself hadn't been aware of until now?
She reached out her finger, pushing it into the 9 hole, just as a test. If nothing else, that should be plenty old enough that she could open the crib and grab the wand. Then she could go back in the crib, lock it up, regress herself back down, and use the wand to pull Emily back into her own body, trapping her there. It was all laid out perfectly, so much that she was becoming more and more certain that she had to be right. Slowly, heart pounding, she dragged the dial around to the stopper, then let it go, listening to it click nine times as it spun back around to its original position. Nervously, she reached out to grab the receiver, closing her hand around the plastic toy and picking it up, hand shaking slightly as she brought it to her ear, closing her eyes.
There was no answer, but she hadn't really expected one - the receiver was a solid piece of plastic with some dents at both ends, no actual holes. She kept her eyes shut, trying to tell if she could feel anything changing, wondering if she would, doing her best to stay perfectly still so as not to mess anything up. For a few moments, she could almost believe she felt a tingle, something, but after a little while, she knew she was just fooling herself. She opened her eyes slowly, still holding out a tiny bit of hope that she'd see a more mature hand holding the phone, but, sure enough, nothing had changed.
She sighed and hung up. Some things were just coincidence, she supposed. Besides, Selena probably would have been suspicious if she'd noticed the teenage Emily playing with a toddler's toy phone and wouldn't have just left it there with the other toys. Still, before completely giving up, she pulled the toy closer to her, looking it over for some kind of switch or something that might turn its secret capabilities on. It was possible that she had to put in some code through the dial before it activated, but with no way of knowing what it was, or even how long it would be, if that really was the case, it might as well not exist.
"Having fun?" Alisa jumped a little at the sound of her voice - since coming to this world, she had known it sounded different, but only now, hearing it from the outside, and comparing it to memories of her own voice on the recorder she used to tape interviews, did she realize just how high and squeaky it had become. It was just as strange to see exactly how much more petite her body had become in this world, which was easier to tell now that Emily had changed it into a pair of denim shorts that seemed to be meant to be just a little shorter, and a t-shirt that almost fit. "That does seem like the sort of thing you'd like. Right at your maturity level."
Alisa glowered up at Emily, starting to get annoyed by the brat's constant insinuation that she was stupid. Sure, she might have gotten tricked into this body switch, but that was only because she was trying to be nice. What was wrong with that?
"Oh, don't pout. You know I'm just playing." Alisa didn't know that, and Emily's chuckle made her even less sure of it. "Listen, we might have a little problem... I'm not seeing it anywhere, so you might need to stay like that for a little longer. I'm going to look again, just in case, but if it doesn't come up, Selena has probably already turned it in, so I'd need to borrow your body to sneak into my partner's lab."
"I can get it for you!" Alisa offered. "Please, just switch us back, I'll go wherever you want!"
"Yeah, I'm sure you would," Emily smirked. "No way you'd just take off when you had the chance and leave me stranded here."
"I wouldn't! I promise!" But even Alisa knew there was no way Emily would take her seriously. She supposed she couldn't really blame the girl.
"Thanks, but I can handle it myself," Emily said, walking toward the changing table. "Look, I'm going to do my best to get this done in your body, but if it comes down to it, I might have to try to switch again, which might make things... messy. I'm not really sure what would happen, especially when I try to get back into my own body. So, no hard feelings, okay?"
"What? No!" Alisa sat up, wrinkling her nose as her bottom landed in the squishy mess in her diaper. "I don't want to be stuck in some random person's body!"
"That might not happen," Emily shrugged, reaching for the wand. "But I'm sure it would be better than being stuck as a toddler, wouldn't...?"
The sound of the doorbell cut her off, the two girls looking toward the front of the house in unison. "Are you expecting someone?" Alisa asked. Selena wouldn't be ringing the bell, surely, which meant it had to be someone else. But who? A neighbor? The police? Alisa glanced over at Emily, noting again just how small and innocent she looked. It was no surprise everyone she had met had seemed to think she belonged in diapers; she had a bad feeling that anyone on the other side of the door would think the same way.
"No," Emily shook her head. "I can't imagine you would have a boyfriend or anything you were going to have meet you here?"
"I could," Alisa sulked. "...But no. I don't think you should answer it."
"Oh, really?" Emily rolled her eyes. "Please tell me you were smart enough to lock the door when you came in."
"Yes, I was!" Alisa snapped. "I'm not an idiot, you know! Just because I'm not some genius like you doesn't mean..."
This time it was her that was silenced by the doorbell, followed by a very familiar voice. "Please let me in," it boomed, louder than any normal voice, sounding just slightly mechanical. "I am searching for a lost child."
Alisa's heart jumped a beat. The Robo-Nanny had followed her here! Her eyes darted over to Emily, in her body. Part of her was tempted to tell the girl to let the robot in, to let her catch the brunt of whatever it intended for her, but that was obviously a bad idea. The thing knew her as Dolly, which meant that it was probably connected to Mommy somehow. And if Mommy was desperate enough to use that to bring her back, it seemed very unlikely that she would give "Alisa" another chance to get away. Emily might be smart, but surely even she would have trouble escaping with her fine motor skills and voice disabled.
But when Alisa looked at Emily, she saw a similar panic in the girl's eyes. "She's coming for me... you..." She bit her bottom lip as she glanced around the room, thinking. "Selena has to have turned it over, and now she doesn't need me anymore. Damn it, I knew I couldn't trust her! I don't know what she's going to do..." She closed her eyes for a second, until the doorbell rang again. "Just stay here, okay? Don't make a noise. I'll find some way to get rid of it. I'll tell it you... I... whatever... went off... Gah!" Emily stomped her foot. "Where would I be going? She knows I'm just a baby now!"
"You can't tell it anything!" Alisa told her. "Emily, it isn't after you, it's after me! You can't let it find my body! You have no idea what its going to do!"
"I got sick," Emily mused out loud. "I got sick, and my babysitter had to call someone to take me to the doctor, and then the babysitter stayed here to watch the house. That makes sense, I guess... It might buy us a little time to get away."
"No!" Alisa yelled, getting to her feet. "Emily, you can't go out there!"
"Oh, shut up!" Emily glared at her, grabbing a pacifier from the changing table and shoved it through the bars into Alisa's mouth. Instinctively, Alisa began to suck on it, calming down instantly. It was even more potent than sucking her thumb had been, and she found herself sinking down to her mushy backside again as she got caught up in it. "Who would want you? Now just stay quiet and I'll be back in a minute."
Alisa watched Emily go, mumbling incoherently through her pacifier. She tried to reach up, to take it out, but for some reason, she found that she simply couldn't. At first she thought it was this body's reaction, somehow, but then she recalled that she hadn't had a pacifier since the last time she'd seen the show... And she had been sucking her thumb quite a bit since then. This could be another side effect of the hypnosis, exhibiting itself at the worst possible time, as was fairly normal in the stories.
Desperately, fighting past the overwhelming sense of calm the pacifier was bringing her, she got back to her feet, shaking the bars of the crib desperately. They didn't budge, and didn't make any noise, so instead she grabbed the toy phone and tried to throw it over the rail, hoping it would land on the floor and break loudly. It barely made it halfway up the bars before hitting with a small thud and then landing quietly back on the mattress.
Across the house, she heard a faint noise like a door opening, and her own voice saying, "Hello?" And then there was silence.