Seems Too Good to be True

by: Baby Sofia | Story In Progress | Last updated Dec 4, 2021


Chapter 3
Departures



OVER THE NEXT month messages flew back and forth between us on a near daily basis. I was kind of beginning to believe that going to the other dimension might actually be the right move for me to make. About four weeks after her first message the hospital I worked at was unexpectedly sold to another company. The talk around the building made it seem certain that the new owners were going to be making some staff cuts to save money. Everyone was constantly whispering and talking about what they had heard in the rumors... and I was nervous. Per our contracts it was just like many other jobs, last hired was first cut… I’d been there a few years, but the reality was that I was still a junior surgeon compared to most of my much older colleagues who had been there for decades!

Soon the day came that I received the inevitable message to report to HR. The HR head was apologetic, “Nick, we don’t want to lose your skills here, but the truth is we’ve been ordered to cut ten surgeons. With our last hire policy… well even if we were only cutting four, I’d have to cut you.”

I nodded and kept blinking to keep the stinging tears out of my eyes, “Will you at least provide me with a good recommendation letter so I can find another hospital to practice at?”

“Absolutely, Doctor Twinning has already written a stellar recommendation letter for you. If we had a choice, you would have been the last person to be let go Nick, I’m sorry.”

I just nodded, “When’s my last day?”

“You have procedures scheduled through tomorrow that we’ll have you do. After that you’ll be able to stay for a week for any post-op care that’s needed before we transfer your cases to other doctors.”

I nodded and stood to leave. ‘Fate just doesn’t seem to want to give me a chance here…’ I noted to myself.

I was beginning to drive to my hotel after the last procedure, but instead found myself driving to the Portal Relocations office instead. I called on my way, “Patricia Lawrence please?” I told the receptionist.

“May I ask who’s calling?”

“Nick Benning,” I told her, wondering if I should be doing this right now.

“Nick? Is everything okay?” Patricia asked.

“No… not really, but that’s kind of why I’m calling. What do we need to do to get me signed up to be relocated?”

“You’ve decided to go ahead?”

“I just found out my position was cut at the hospital I work at,” I forced back a sob that I refused to let anyone else hear, “so now’s probably as good a time as any to go on an adventure to a new world.” I tried to force myself to act happy at that opportunity.

“Great! When do you want to leave?”

“Well, I’m driving to your building right now; can we discuss this in person?”

“Absolutely, just let the receptionist know I said for you to come right up,” she told me.

I hung up with a push of the button on my car stereo and wondered, not for the first time why I would do this. I had done more research over the ensuing months and discovered that it seemed almost normal that adults my size regularly got treated as babies, or at best as children. When I’d sent questions to Ivy point blank asking about it... she’d dodged the questions. Patricia seemed to suggest that it did happen, but the incidence rate was lower than reported by sensationalist tabloids. She said that those who ended up in those states often asked for it due to their own wish fantasies, or showed they weren’t mature enough to be treated as an adult through some truly stupid and dangerous actions. Given my education and life experience, she was sure that wouldn’t be a problem for me.

‘Right…’ I thought to myself. I had my doubts that it was that rare, which made me think I was crazy to even consider going. I gave myself about a ten percent chance of actually being treated like an adult in the other dimension…

The ultimate reason I hadn’t just run away though was I had watched videos of several more of her procedures on patients. I was fascinated with the way they had taken endoscopic procedures and advanced light-years ahead of us, with the use of what she called nanite clusters. She’d shown me a couple of impressive videos taken with some high-tech microscopes that showed the nanite clusters able to do some miraculous work at the cellular level to injuries. There was still some amount of skill needed to ensure that the small cluster was programmed right, and inserted precisely where it was needed, but major cutting and suturing seemed to almost be a thing of the past for them. The diagnosis of the issue didn’t even normally need much interaction from the doctors involved thanks to the AI diagnostic tools they had available.

My curiosity peaked so much that I didn’t know that I could stand to not take the risk! Their procedures were at least twenty to thirty years ahead of our own... and I wanted to learn more than I could via watching the videos. ‘No home, no job, why not?’ I said to myself as I took the elevator up to Patricia’s office.

Inside she had me sit down and brought me a bundle of forms. “Okay Nick, first, when would you like to make your move?”

I shrugged, “I’m working for another week. I really should stay through then for my patients, after that I get a nice severance package... and then I’m jobless. So… maybe Monday after next?”

She nodded, “That should be enough time to let Ivy be ready for you to arrive.”

“How exactly does that work?” I asked nervously.

“Well, Portal Relocations is a large enough company that we have our own portal we maintain on both sides to allow for smooth travel between dimensions.”

“Wait, I thought there was just the one at the IDP?” I asked incredulously.

“There are a few others that you probably don’t know about. In our case we license the technology from Bremmer Industries and it lets us be a bit more caring with our approach to relocation,” she stated.

“Okay, so how does this work then?”

“Well our system is a little different than the main port. You’ll be placed into a transport vehicle downstairs that will pass through the portal with a group of others that are relocating. Basically, it’s almost like a rail system that goes back and forth as needed as a train.”

“Can I only go back through this portal? Or am I able to use the main one?”

“That depends on your documentation. I’ll try and make it possible for you to have access to both,” she said. Something in her eyes made the warning bells go off again, but I just didn’t care anymore at this point. No home, no job, no family… really even if the worst I’d heard about would happen came true… I probably wouldn’t be any worse off than I was right then. ‘Even though I really do hope it’s as much nonsense as she’s led me to believe that everyone ends up as nothing more than a drooling living baby doll...’ I thought to myself.

“Okay, so what happens once I’m in the transport?”

“You’ll end up being asleep by the end of the trip. Our version of the portal technology is a variation on the other Bremer Portal Technology. It usually results in you being out for a couple hours on the other side too. They will use the time to do a quick health screening before you wake up. Ivy will be waiting for you when you are through the processing,” she told me.

“Why wouldn’t I stay conscious? The other portal lets you just walk through?”

She shrugged, “The eggheads have explained it to me but it’s all over my head. It’s perfectly safe though, in fact they claim it is even more so than the other portal for the purposes of long-term relocation.”

I stared disbelievingly at her, but decided to ignore that likely lie and said, “Okay, so what paperwork do we need to do?”

She handed me what I would consider to be a fairly advanced tablet device. It was so thin that I thought it had to be from the other dimension. ‘I thought it was illegal to bring technology back,’ I thought for a moment. In the end I shrugged and figured that they must have had some exceptions in the laws specifically for their company. I signed, initialed, signed, initialed, and signed and initialed, more electronic forms than I had ever done in my life! My training as a doctor meant I knew that I should look through fine print, but after the hundredth page of signing and initialing, I began to waver on that. I went through several dozen more boxes before I noticed the new pages were essentially looking like I was being adopted like a child.

“What’s this about?” I asked, pointing to the text that said my homeowner would have the right to assess and agree to medical treatment.

“Oh, it’s for emergencies when you might be incapacitated. Especially since you don’t have any next of kin there; we need someone who can make decisions for you in that event.”

I nervously read the rest of the page and carefully read the next few. I was done not long after though and wondered what was on the pages I skipped over. “Can I have a written copy of that please?” I asked.

“Sure, it’ll take me a day or so, but I’ll get it dropped off at your hotel?” she told me with a smile.

“Okay…” I told her, “So now what?”

“Well - I will need you to give me the information about your storage locker you have your things in. We’ll go ahead and have those items shipped over this week and the two of you can figure out what you want from there to be used in her house.”

That made sense as I was sure Ivy would already have her house fully furnished. “Okay…” I asked a lot of other questions and felt a little more comfortable with things as I walked out to my car. I drove ‘home’ to the hotel and looked forward to having something like a real home again soon.

 

IVY WAS OVER the top excited that she finally had a little of her own coming! She could have adopted long ago an injured little at the hospital, or even skipped her medical career and joined her sister in running her daycare, but it just hadn’t seemed right to do so. She worked so hard in her career to become a top surgeon that it didn’t leave a lot of time for a personal life. Let alone the time it took to take care of a little who needed love and attention.

She smiled as the delivery truck unloaded the small boxes of stuff sent over from her new little into the garage. She squealed in delight when she saw the tiny couch! It would go great in the playhouse that was getting delivered that day. ‘It’s the nicest playhouse I’ve ever seen,’ she smiled thinking about it. It even came complete with a working air conditioning and heating system… really it was almost like a miniature house really! ‘Probably more for an amazon child…’ she shrugged and looked through more of the pile.

She looked at the bedframe and frowned, unless Nick came through a lot bigger than most there was no way that she could let her sleep on a bed without rails for long...  Even if it was nearly on the ground where the fall wouldn’t be far! To her surprise the mattress looked clean and unstained. Not seeing a plastic cover in the boxes she wondered if it was true that Littles didn’t actually have the bladder problems in their dimension like they did here.

Without a doubt she was well prepared for those problems here though! Her new littles real room was already stocked with all sorts of options for protection! Ivy couldn’t help but wonder which of the cute options she should start with when she got her to that point!

‘I hope that isn’t a big problem for her…’ Nick had definitely expressed concerns over that treatment… but she had apparently read and agreed on the forms that she was okay with the many drastic changes her mommy wanted. ‘I triple checked the forms myself just to be safe…’ she thought. 

From that point forward she’d stopped worrying about her as she had been, and began trying to come up with a better name than her old one. ‘Nichole, or little Nikki would be close to her old one - and let her have a cute nickname.’ Ivy wasn’t set on a name yet though, but knew she needed to be soon! Unlike most bigs, she did intend to take things slowly though just in case Nick didn’t understand what he had really signed up.

As she went through the boxes, she was shocked at the tiny size of the items enclosed, and also how haphazardly they had been packed. Nick had told her about the movers when he left, but she couldn’t help but wonder if it was just another sign of the littles not being able to take care of themselves. The clothes in the boxes were fairly boring, but miniature, versions of adult clothing that amused her. Other than some sets of scrubs that she found to be adorable, the white doctors coats, and some tiny stethoscopes and other medical paraphernalia that fascinated her…  she put most of it back into the boxes since they would never need them. Some photo albums of Nick’s dead parents and other family members and obvious friends were placed in a keep pile. No way would she ever try and remove the memories of someone's biological parents!

She couldn’t help but smile as she looked at the pictures from when Nick graduated Medical School and others as he finished his residencies. Awards that Nick received over the years made their own pile as she debated if there was anywhere to put them. She ended up shrugging and deciding they could go up in the temporary room. She figured that would help Nick begin to feel more comfortable.

She paused and wondered again if she was doing the right thing with Nick. He was obviously not an ordinary little to adopt – he was a talented surgeon! With a shake of her head though she reminded herself that she definitely was a typical little in other ways. The poor thing was homeless, jobless; and even though as skilled as it seemed he was, clearly he needed her help. She couldn’t wait to receive the call from the portal that her little was there and ready to be picked up!

‘I need to ease him into it gently though,’ thought as she assembled the small bed and belongings in the bedroom. She knew it would again be the guest bedroom after his first few weeks. It felt like a lot of extra work, but she wanted to save the real bedroom for once she had fully adjusted to the new situation...

 

I FINISHED UP with my last patient’s post-op appointment and then signed out of the hospital for the final time. HR made sure that I turned in my ID, phone, and tablet that I’d been given with a sigh. I was escorted out for good measure by a security guard who smiled and was friendly, but the implication was clear that I was no longer an employee with the ability to freely roam the hospital. As much as it hurt... I knew that I’d actually had a pretty friendly send-off there. Three of my colleagues that had been let go had been basically allowed to clean their office spaces out and walked out the day they’d been told. I genuinely believed they hadn’t wanted to let me go!    

I buckled my seatbelt and drove to the hotel for what I knew could very well be my last night ever in this dimension. Once in my room I made sure my suitcases were packed with everything I had left in there, set out clothes for the next day, and made sure I was ready to go to the portal first thing in the morning. All of my other possessions had already been taken by PR, so I had very few things to deal with in the morning. At that point I decided that if any of the rumors were true, it might be my last night to go off and get drunk. The downstairs bar was quiet still, but the bartender was more than willing to take care of me on my initial trip and the one after dinner.

I barely remembered setting my alarm on my phone before crashing that night.

The next morning, I was definitely paying for my stupidity of drinking too much alcohol - and not enough water! I began rectifying that as quickly as I could in the bathroom. The pounding headache would serve as a definite last negative memory of this dimension as I got moving!

‘Maybe I’ll be better off not being able to drink,’ I mused to myself.

On the way to PR I bought two large Gatorades and guzzled them down quickly. I’d been instructed to pull my car up to the front of the building and let the Valet that I had never noticed before handle parking it. They would hold onto it for the two-year contract. I had been told that if I chose not to come back, they would sell it and donate the funds to charity.

As I handed over the keys to the man, he looked at me with a worried and frightened set of eyes. ‘Great…’ I thought to myself, ‘what if it really is that bad…?’ I thought but shrugged it off.

I walked into the main entrance pulling a large suitcase and carrying a backpack on my shoulders. To my surprise I immediately found Patricia talking to the receptionist, “Hi Nick, are you ready to go?” She asked.

I nodded, “As ready as I’ll ever be,” I tried to laugh.

“Hey, I just found out they never remembered to send you your paper copy of the agreement. Why don’t you put it in your bag and you can read it on the way there?”

I looked at her suspiciously, but took the large envelope and stuffed it into an already full backpack. When I was done, she smiled and directed me to the elevator where she inserted a card key into a slot and a new projected display suddenly showed up in front of us. She selected ‘Departures’ and suddenly my stomach fell out of my body for a moment as this time I did feel the elevator accelerate, but in the opposite direction I expected. We clearly descended a long way, very rapidly, before the door opened and my stomach met my body. “Okay?” She asked me.

I nodded with a grimace, “That’s quite a ride down here.” I shouldered my bag tighter and pulled the other suitcase along with me as we entered a high-tech looking area of steel walls and electronic displays. It reminded me of the special effects of Star Trek, or the old Star Wars Star Tours ride at Disneyland I had gone on as a kid! In this case though the displays seemed to be real as there were people walking back and forth and were pressing things on them here and there.

“Come along,” Patricia said to me and I followed her down the hallway. The door led to a small room that could have been a pre-op room at the hospital I’d been working at.

“What’s the exam room for?” I asked.

“We have doctors that look you over before you go, and then you’ll have another check up on the other side,” she told me.

I nodded and noticed the hospital gown waiting on the bed, “I assume I need to change into that awful thing?”

She smirked, “I do believe you know the drill.”

I groaned but did as she asked after she left the room. Like everyone in my profession we knew just how awkward and uncomfortable the gowns were. Truthfully though if you needed to have medical care, they were a godsend to get out of the way quickly to work on your body. I noticed they had a set of the booty socks that I slid on my feet in case I needed to walk around. My clothes were carefully folded and placed in my backpack then before I laid down in the bed and covered myself with the blanket they had provided. ‘They need the heated ones…’ I griped.

A few minutes later a very tall nurse came by, “Doctor Benning?”

“Yes ma’am,” I responded politely.

“Great, I need to get a few things checked before we have our doctor finish the pre-trip check-up.”

“What’s first?” I asked her.

“Well let’s get your height, weight, and vitals first,” she told me.

I nodded and stood up to get onto the scale she had, as well as stood while she checked my height. “Five feet eight inches seem right to you?” She asked.

“Yes ma’am, never grown past that. Somehow, from what I’ve heard I don’t think I’ll be taller than that on this trip either,” I said with a thin grin.

She giggled, “No, I doubt you will. Once in a long while someone will grow on the trip, but we’re not sure why they do. It’s about one in a thousand cases… who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky?” she suggested.

I shook my head, “with the way everything has been going for me I doubt that!”

She checked my blood pressure, pulse, and temperature before saying, “Well it was nice meeting you. Our doctor will be here in a moment to finish up.”

“Thanks,” I said to her cordially with a smile. I had long ago learned nurses run healthcare, so I truly meant that!

I waited for maybe two more minutes, before a taller man walked in, “I’m Doctor Spalding,” he said. We spoke for a few moments before he checked me over carefully. He and I had a quick chat about shared colleagues and college experiences before he signed off and said, “You’ll be staying in that gown through transport unfortunately. Here is a robe that you can put on top until you reach the pod.”

I nodded and wondered about this whole pod system. Something seemed off to me that the portals were supposedly so different from each other if they were based on the same technology. I shrugged the white robe on though just as Patricia came in to guide me down the hallway in my uncomfortable attire. “Why don’t you all at least use scrubs instead?” I asked as we walked.

She shrugged, “Not sure. I know they give you another check up on the other side while you’re still unconscious, so it may just be easier?”

I nodded, even though it sounded like it was most likely bullshit.

We came to the end of a ‘T’ at the end of the hallway, turned right, and entered a room where I saw a group of people similarly attired to myself already sitting in chairs awkwardly. A man in a lab coat looked up at Patricia and smiled, “He’s the last of the departures, right?”

“That’s correct, we can get this orientation going,” she told him.

“Great!” He said before pressing a button and activating a large futuristic display behind him. “I’m Randy Smith, and I’m the orientation coordinator on this side of the portal. The Portal Relocations version of the Bremmer Dimensional Portal Technology is very safe, but we believe in safety first! So, per our corporate lawyers, we do have to do this safety presentation before we begin!”

I nodded, somewhat relieved that we were going to be briefed more about the process, “In a few minutes each of you will be guided to one of these travel pods for your journey to the other dimension.” I looked at the screen and the ‘pods’ reminded me of glass bubbled cockpits of a small helicopter or something. The glass popped away from the cockpit area and you could see a rugged seat like out of a race car inside. “Your luggage that you’ve brought can go in the compartment below,” he said as a highlighted door opened and an actor or someone placed their bag inside. “Once that’s placed you will need to give your robe to the technician assisting you before you climb into the pod. Inside they will help buckle you into the safety harness and give you some final instructions. Once the pod closes you will depart soon after. In the event that something seems wrong there is a communication button that you can toggle,” he said pointing to a green button, “to speak with the control room. Should that fail and something catastrophic happen you can abort the procedure by pressing this red button on the console.”

He paused, “We do advise that you be careful with its use though - if it’s not a true emergency your participation with Portal Relocations will end. Should you change your mind up until the last minute that is the button you would need to press.”

“Any questions?” He asked.

“What happens on the other side?” A woman a little bit younger than me asked.

“The procedure you’ve undergone today will basically be reversed. You’ll be taken to a room, given a check-up, allowed to get dressed, and then introduced to the homeowner you’re staying with.”

“Okay,” the girl said with a bit of a shake to her voice.

“Any other questions?” the man asked, “Okay then, let’s get you all situated.”

Patricia reappeared and guided me to the next doorway. Once through I felt my jaw drop as I looked out into a huge cavern. I could see the large set of energy poles at the other end of the room that were responsible for generating the energy field that opened the portal. On our end of the cavern sat a few dozen of the pods sitting apart from each other on rail tracks. I numbly and nervously followed Patricia and the techs instructions as I approached.

“Nick go ahead and put your bags in this compartment,” Patricia told me.

I nervously did as she said and watched her close it shut and latch it. “Okay, go ahead and use the ladder to climb up,” a waiting tech in white coveralls told me. As I settled into the seat I couldn’t help but note that it looked different than in the video presentation. It really seemed more like an oversized child’s car seat than it did the race car seat shown.

The tech pulled at my right arm, “We need to put your arm through here,” he told me and had me slide my arm through a shoulder harness strap. “Now this one,” he said, and before I knew it two straps held my arms and were buckled to another belt point between my legs. I felt awkward as a moment later the tech had his hand so near my groin! The gown offered zero privacy as the harness was then brought together with another clip at my chest level and then tightened with the straps and some sort of pull strap below my legs.

“This really is more like a car seat for a toddler…” I noted aloud to Patricia who smiled at me.

“Same technology is used in a lot of safety applications. Our technicians didn’t see a need to reinvent the wheel?” She reassured me with a smile.

“Good to go,” the tech told her and Patricia stepped nearer the pod.

“It was nice working with you Nick! Who knows I may see you again? But really, I hope not! I hope you have a happy new start there!”

“Thanks for your help,” I told her with a smile and watched as she pressed a button on the side of the pod and the glass came down in front of me.

As soon as the cockpit was closed, I felt my stomach sink, and my gut told me that suddenly something just didn’t feel right. Just as I was debating the merits of the red button, I noticed the air smelled and felt different. I tried reaching for the green call button but couldn’t reach it due to the tight harness holding me to the seat. I frantically attempted to press the buckle button but nothing happened. Just then I looked out and saw the girl who had asked the question earlier trying the same things.

I tried to reach the red abort button, but it was out of my reach by several inches. I finally could stand holding my breath no longer and let the contaminated air into my lungs. As soon as I took a breath I blacked out.

 

IVY WAS BESIDE herself with anticipation as she drove to the PR headquarters to pick up her little traveler. She knew she’d have about an hour to wait once he’d been cleared by medical upon arrival, then they’d do the procedures she requested to make him her perfect little… It would just be another two more hours after that before she could make the trip home with her new bundle of joy in hand.

She knew without a doubt that she was ready at home. Between the years of mentally planning the nursery, the little shower her mom and sister had thrown her, plus the many gifts from colleagues at the hospital; she knew she would be good for quite some time on basics. Many of her colleagues had thoughtfully given her gift cards instead of clothing items because no one ever quite knew what size a little would be when they came through the portal. She knew her new addition wasn’t far off of betweener height in his home dimension, but it was to be expected that some shrinking would occur. It happened the other direction too, which let this company staff their offices in the other dimension with Bigs and Betweeners themselves. From what she understood, only a few staff members there were ever actually from that dimension. Not that they would ever tell the people there that!

There were of course a number of options when you wanted to adopt a little. You could pick one off the street that hadn’t been claimed yet - something her sister had done twice. With those you would get to break them yourself into their new life and expectations. If you wanted an easier option you could do an adoption through an etiquette school where the little you received would more or less already be a willing baby for their new mommy or daddy. Ivy had always felt those littles in particular got a raw deal though! She had seen some of the results of the more intense schools and she didn’t have a desire to support them in any way!

More recently these portal centers had popped up and ‘exchange’ programs had become a viable way of adopting a little. Most of them just basically had the littles come over and you did as you pleased after that like you would one off the street. PR though was special because they offered a number of extra services to help make families really bond faster. For some extra fees she had easily insured that she would have the little she had dreamt of since she was a little girl playing with her dollies.

She wasn’t initially planning to take Nick all the way right away, but with the menu of special services they handed her… well it seemed like it was almost easier to pull the Band-Aid off quickly on at least a couple of the changes she wanted.

Ivy reasoned that she wanted to try to be humane about her decisions; after all she definitely wasn’t going to muddle his brain down to an infant level… She certainly wasn’t going to keep him from walking or talking like her sister... but there would definitely be some steps backwards for him in other endeavors. Those steps backward would help assure that he would quickly need extra ‘help’ from her.

The parking lot at the PR center was nearly packed as she walked in and checked in at the front. “Doctor Nickerson?” the lady called a short while later.

“Yes?” She said as she stepped up.

“We wanted to let you know that Nick has arrived. Have you picked a new name for the adoption certificate?”

“Holly Anne Nickerson,” she told her, “But, please put a note not to call her that until I’ve handled her? In fact, if she does if you could please play along with the idea of the changes being a mistake?”

“Certainly, Doctor Nickerson, no need to worry. She’s being put into the adjustment program right now. You should be able to go back and hold her in ten minutes while we keep her under observation for an hour. After that you can take her home. Due to the procedures you selected she probably won’t wake up for another five hours from now,” she added.

“How tall did she end up…?” Ivy asked her and continued getting new information on her new charge before being allowed to finally see her.

Her heart melted right away as she looked and finally held her new little a while later. She made the best of that hour of observation knowing that when Holly woke up at home things would not be this calm! It would be a long road before this would be normal to cuddle her like this.


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Thanks for reading and joining me in Nick's tale here! I'll post a few more chapters in the middle of this week. Especially if you've never read this before, please leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

 


 

End Chapter 3

Seems Too Good to be True

by: Baby Sofia | Story In Progress | Last updated Dec 4, 2021

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