Chapter 37 - ...On Every Golden Scale
Alisa waited anxiously, hoping for the best. After dinner, she'd been trundled off immediately to bed, just as Bianca had warned. She'd expected to wind up back in the bed with rails, but now that the other Alisa was here, Ms. Caldwell seemed to have changed her mind, saying that room was closer to the bathroom, so it was better for the girl who actually had a shot at using it to be in it. Alisa was back in the room she'd slept in the night before, but instead of the bed, she had been put in a playpen that Bianca had set up there, claiming she was afraid Ali would roll off the bed in her sleep and hurt herself, since it was now so tall, compared to the girl's size.
Alisa supposed she should be glad she hadn't been moved to an actual nursery, which she suspected the house must have somewhere, or even into the room with all the doll-women.She suspected at least one of those moves were coming, but Bianca wasn't quite done toying with her yet. Either way, she was just as trapped like this, as the playpen was a bit too high for her to climb out of herself, and even if it hadn't been, she'd heard Ms. Caldwell lock the bedroom door on her way out - after all, she didn't have to worry about getting to the bathroom. Of course, Alisa suspected there was more to it than that. If she was right in her suspicion that Bianca had meant for her to find the shrunken women, that meant she knew Alisa had been out the night before, and perhaps she didn't want her to do it again. Or she may not have known about Alisa's exploits the previous night beforehand, but the women could have tattled on her, since it seemed likely that Ms. Caldwell visited them at least once a day.
If finding them had all been a part of Bianca's plan, then she could have hypnotized Alt-Alisa to do the same thing, or she might have decided that showing off Alisa in doll size was good enough as a warning. It was hard to tell. Either way, Alisa knew she was trapped without her counterpart's help, and, as much as she hoped for it, she couldn't know for certain that she would be getting it. They had discussed it in Alt-Alisa's room before Bianca had come up and found them there, but Alisa knew there was no guarantee that Alt-Alisa wouldn't just get the keys from the apron, where Alisa had told her they would be, and escape on her own. She had no real reason to help, other than avoiding the feeling of guilt that would likely come from abandoning an alternate dimension version of yourself in her time of need. And even that might not be as strong a motivation, now that Bianca had felt the need to share her theory that Alisa enjoyed this treatment.
Alisa couldn't say that she would blame the other her if that was the case. She had probably spent her entire life in and out of diapers, or narrowly avoiding them. She was probably better at it than Alisa was, since she had been brought up in this place, but Alisa didn't doubt that she had at least a few unpleasant memories. To hear that there was a version of herself that actually enjoyed the very thing she'd spent so long trying to escape from, that seemingly the whole world seemed convinced she deserved just for being slightly different than them, had to be disheartening, to say the least.
But, thankfully, after drifting in and out of sleep a few times, she was woken by the sound of the key, and when the door opened, Alt-Alisa stepped into the room. She was dressed in her pajamas, a pink t-shirt and shorts, and was very obviously diapered beneath them. She blushed as she saw Alisa looking at the bulge around her waist, trying futilely to hide it with her hands. "I didn't have an accident," she mumbled defensively, "She just put me in them 'just in case'. She said that if I did have an accident, she wouldn't hold that against my potty training record."
"She probably hypnotized you to wet your bed," Alisa said, unsure if that bit of information would really be helpful to the girl or not, though if she had happened to fall asleep and woke up wet, it could have been comforting to her to know it wasn't her fault... Maybe. Given this world, however, Alisa couldn't help but wonder if Bianca had actually needed to give her any push to get that result. "Of course, sometimes it happens anyway, so there's no need..."
"I know," Alt-Alisa snapped. "I didn't fall asleep because I knew she might have done that... And I am not a bedwetter normally, thank you very much."
Alisa blushed, letting her other self help her out of the playpen. "Are you ready for this?"
"I think so," Alt-Alisa nodded. "You're sure this is the best plan? Shouldn't we get those other women you told me about to help?"
Alisa shook her head. "It's too risky. There's no telling what Bianca has done to their minds. Once we have her out of the way, then we can get them out."
"Okay." The other girl sounded uncertain, but that had been the plan all along. "She seemed to be sleeping pretty soundly, but..."
"We can do it," Alisa encouraged her. "Did you find everything?"
"Yeah," Alt-Alisa said. "We just have to stop by my room." The two of them quietly shuffled down the hall into the other bedroom, where the supply of cloth diapers was. The dresser drawer they were in squeaked rather loudly, scaring both of them at first, but when they didn't hear any stirring beneath them after a minute or two, they continued opening it, more slowly. "You're sure there's going to be one big enough?"
"I hope so." Alisa could see the woman keeping a variety of sizes, but at the same time, she could also imagine her using a similar excuse to the one that had landed Alisa at the desk, coloring, all morning, saying that they were too small, so the wearer would just have to shrink a little for them to fit. "I don't know that they actually have to go on anyway."
"We'd better hope not," Alt-Alisa grumbled. "These are definitely all way too small."
"Yeah," Alisa agreed, staring down into the drawer. "Well, we have to try, don't we?"
Alt-Alisa didn't look quite so sure. "I guess..."
"I promise, this is for the best. I know she has your memory all screwed up, but believe me, you do not belong in some reform school, and especially not that one. They will eat you alive." Alisa stared into the other her's eyes until Alt-Alisa nodded, grabbing the biggest size diaper she could find, laying it out on the floor. "Can I see the device?"
The other girl handed her the diaper control device and she looked it over, trying to make heads or tails of it. It didn't look too dissimilar to Emily's wand, except with more buttons and dials, none of which were labeled in any way. Alisa knew there had to be some way to tune it to a certain diaper, but it wasn't obvious. She didn't want to just start pressing buttons, either, since for all she knew doing so could affect her. "All right," she said after a moment, "change of plans."
She left Alt-Alisa there, taking the keys and heading further into the house, counting doors until she found the right one. It took a bit of key shuffling until she found the right one again, and then she slipped inside, giving her eyes a little more time to adjust so she could try to slip in among the little beds and cages without waking too many of the occupants. She believed what she'd told Alt-Alisa about not being able to trust all of them, but there was one who she was pretty sure she could count on.
In the darkness, she could see that woman's form, sitting up in her bed in the birdcage. "Shh," Alisa shushed her. "I need your help."
Luckily, it wasn't quite as hard to find the birdcage's key as it might have been, since she rightly assumed that she could limit her search to the smaller keys on the ring. She didn't manage to find it without waking a few of the others, however, meaning that it wasn't long before her work was punctuated by tiny voices saying, "What are you doing? Let me out, too! I've been here longer!", no matter how many times she tried to hush them. By the time she got the birdcage open, the women on the doll beds outside of the cages were waking, too.
"You aren't Ms. Caldwell!" one of them observed accusingly. "Get out of here!"
"You can't let her go, she's a troublemaker!" another yelled, and before Alisa knew it, as soon as she picked Astra up from out of the cage, she was being swarmed by the little women. She didn't want to hurt them, since she knew they were only acting this way because they had been brainwashed, but they had no problem with attacking her bare legs, doing their best to stop her.
She let out a yelp of pain as one of them kicked her in the ankle, making her wobble slightly, almost losing balance. That was all she needed, she mused - getting knocked over and captured by a bunch of tiny women in diapers, held there until their "mistress" could wake up and find her. It probably wouldn't even be all that difficult anymore, as much as she'd shrunk that day. As gently as she could, she kicked the little nuisances out of her way, hurrying through them before more could wake up and join the fight, or before they could block the door to trap her in there with them.
She narrowly managed to slide out of the door and pull it shut, making sure to lock it just in case. She didn't see how they could reach the knob, but that didn't mean they couldn't, and she didn't want one of them to run downstairs to warn Bianca while she, the other her, and Astra put the finishing touches on their plan. She carried Astra back to Alt-Alisa's room, showing her the diaper and the device before becoming the little woman's hands, doing whatever the scientist told her to. She still couldn't help but feel nervous about playing with the thing, but she did feel a little better having Astra in charge of it, and, sure enough, after some work, they seemed to get the device synched up with the diaper.
Astra elected to stay behind as the other two went to carry out the plot, since her small size meant there wasn't much she could really help with, especially if things went south. On the ground floor of the house, the Alisas had to split up for a minute. Neither wanted the hard job of actually going into Bianca's room, but Alt-Alisa wound up with it, since she was bigger. Alisa went to the kitchen, closing the door behind her to help minimize noise before searching through the cabinets for containers and starting to fill them with water. She couldn't help being a little worried that her sound dampening worked both ways, and it would be harder to hear if Bianca woke up, but that was nothing a little thumbsucking couldn't help her overcome.
The next thing she knew, she was being shaken, her thumb yanked out of her mouth by a rather annoyed looking Alt-Alisa. "What the hell are you doing?" the girl hissed. "I've been waiting for you for ages!"
"Oh, I..." Alisa blushed, squirming in place on the stool in front of the sink, a little shocked to feel a rather large, mushy mass in the seat of her diapers. "I just..."
"I know what you were doing," Alt-Alisa grumbled. "But some of us actually want to get out of here."
"So do I!" Alisa protested. "I can't help it, I told you, I've been getting hypnotized since I came here, I'm all messed up."
"Yeah, you are," Alt-Alisa agreed. "You'd better not screw this up."
"Sorry." Feeling chastised, Alisa moved a milk jug, which had filled up long ago and had been overflowing for who knows how long, out from under the faucet, putting a pitcher there instead. "I can't help it." Alt-Alisa didn't answer, but Alisa could tell the girl didn't fully buy that. The thought made Alisa feel anxious, enough that she almost began sucking her thumb again, but she managed to stop herself.
Finally, after the girls thought they had enough, they lugged the containers to Bianca's room. It was definitely risky, especially since Astra hadn't been able to figure out how to disable the shock, but the girls had decided that it was best to just get it over with, instead of searching the room in the dark and simply hoping that Bianca wouldn't wake and catch them before they could start their plan. This way, they knew they could get at least one hit in while she was unconscious. Alt-Alisa grabbed a large, glass measuring bowl, lifting it up and tip-toeing over to the woman's bed, Alisa following close behind with the milk jug. Alt-Alisa stopped at Bianca's bedside, nodding toward the woman's arm, which she had pinned the diaper around, waiting for Alisa to nod back to signal that she'd seen it.
Alisa watched her other self gather her courage, give a quiet sigh, and then start pouring the water. They'd only used a single layer of diaper, since they didn't want it to be too thick, but it still took a moment for the moisture to soak through and set off the sensor. Astra had been a little worried that the diapers were advanced enough to know the difference between water and urine, but apparently she was wrong, as the woman's body jolted as the diaper sent a shock into her arm, and, before the girls' eyes, the woman shrank, just a little. Encouraged by this, Alt-Alisa hit the diaper with another splash of water while Bianca was still waking up, doing her best to even the odds before she could figure out what was going on.
"What is going on?" Ms. Caldwell shrieked, fumbling for her bedside lamp, only to find that her arm wasn't quite long enough to reach it. As she started moving, it became more difficult for Alt-Alisa to aim, but it turned out that wasn't necessary - tossing a splash of water at the woman's arm was enough to make her yelp in pain and lose a little more height.
"I'm out!" Alt-Alisa declared, ducking out of the way and letting Alisa step up while she scurried to grab another container, flipping on the room's lights as she did, the brightness further disorienting their prey.
By then, Bianca had figured out what was going on, and was fumbling at her arm to try to un-pin the diaper until Alisa managed to hit her with the water again, the shock making the woman's hand jump back. The woman's mattress was getting soaked by then, and her nightgown was starting to billow out around her, looking like an ever-growing puddle itself. "Stop this, you little brat!" Bianca growled at Alisa. "You're not going to get away with this! The next spanking I give you is going to make your first one feel like a hug!"
"Don't let her talk!" Alt-Alisa shouted a reminder as she came to Alisa's side. They had talked about gagging the woman, but that didn't seem very realistic, since it wouldn't shrink with her, and so would just keep dropping off as she got smaller and smaller. Instead, they kept her quiet by giving her as little time between jolts as possible, though they had to wait for each to subside to make sure that the diaper counted the next as a separate "accident".
She managed to get out a desperate, "What's wrong, cutie pie?", which seemed strange to Alisa until she saw her counterpart stop cold, the seat of her shorts bulging outward as her hypnotic trigger activated. Alisa kept up the attack, however, until Alt-Alisa had finished and could start back in, all the more resolved to get her revenge. As Bianca's arm disappeared into the sleeve of her nightgown, they kept going, soaking through the nightgown's fabric, pouring the water on until they ran out, leaving Bianca small enough for Alt-Alisa to lift her out of the neck hole of her nightgown, the only stitch of clothing on her the diaper, still pinned around her tiny arm. She looked even smaller than the doll women, and when Alt-Alisa put her on top of her own dresser, there was no way for her to get down on her own.
Now that she was a stable size, they were able to keep her quiet, gagging her with a piece of Kleenex tied around her head. They weren't sure how long that would last, but since Bianca didn't have any clothes small enough to do that job, it would have to do. As the former Amazon watched them, still soaking wet and quivering with rage, they began ransacking her room until, at last, they found the shrink ray.
Even the loyalists among the doll women calmed down considerably when they saw their mistress being held in one of Alt-Alisa's hands, and then stuck in Astra's bird cage. "She's stuck that size," Alisa explained to them, "Not even her shrink ray will help her now. You can either stay here with her, or we'll restore you to your original size and you can be on your way. Your choice." A few chose the first option, but, unsurprisingly, most were all too happy to have the chance to grow up again.
Since she had already been sure to unlock the front door, and her and Alt-Alisa's rubber pants, Alisa gave some of the women from in the cages the keys, letting them go exploring until they came up with Bianca's stockpile of clothes she'd taken from her former tennants when she'd declared them unladylike. Most of their cars seemed to be gone, likely sold, but a few remained, and before long, the women who wanted to do so were gone, headed back to their old lives, a little shorter, and likely a bit more incontinent than they had been when they had arrived.
Alisa left a note for Ms. Dabney, taping it to the front door, which she left unlocked, not wanting to leave the tiny women who remained completely trapped. "Thanks for sticking around," she told Alt-Alisa with a bashful smile, surprised to see that she was still there.
"No problem," the other her shrugged. "The other cars were pretty full anyway."
"Yeah, I guess. You could have taken yours, though."
Alt-Alisa gave her a look of confusion. "I can't drive... Oh." She blushed, realizing that she must have been hypnotized to think just that, to help prevent her from being able to escape. She'd seen a number of the other women go through the same thing, and it had never occurred to her that she was in the same position, though luckily there were enough who did still know how to do it to take the others back home. One of the two remaining cars looked awfully familiar to her, but even just sitting down in the driver's seat made her feel anxious, and she couldn't make heads or tails of any of the controls. "I can't," she shook her head.
"It's okay," Alisa told her with a smile. "You can come with us." She'd already shown the shrink ray to her own car's camera, to keep the device in her ankle from regressing her into a baby, and it was now just waiting for her to give the word to drive her back to the nursery, and Vera's lab. "I can't really control where it goes, so I can't drop you off anywhere, but I'm sure there's somewhere around there where you can use a phone to call a taxi or something. You probably shouldn't actually go in, though. And watch out for any Amazons named Ms. Farber."
Alt-Alisa nodded slowly. "And where are you going after you hand over the shrink ray?"
It almost didn't seem real. She had been hoping, and planning, for that moment a long time, but there had always been a myriad of obstacles between her and it, to the point where she had been starting to believe she'd never get there. Even when she had thought she was almost there, there was always something in her way, something to remind her that it was still a long ways odd. But it had never felt as close as it did now.
Alisa gave a little smile as she said, "Home."