I WINCED AS I blinked my eyes. The lights seemed too bright, and I was confused where I was at that moment. I turned and saw Addison sitting in a chair, with… Kendra beside her?!?
I noticed that a uniformed officer was present then too.
If I was more with it, I probably would have immediately sat up and asked what was going on? As it was the anesthesia had kicked my butt quite hard! I assumed I was now a girl, and just hoped I wasn’t screwed up any more than that.
‘Wait…?!? Kendra is here?’ I thought, looking back at them.
“What are you doing here?” I asked with somewhat slurred speech.
“Cameron, I guess you’re finally coming out of that anesthesia,” she said. “I’m here with this officer because there’s been an injunction placed by Judge Ruth Jones on any modifications being made to you until your appeal is heard.”
I felt tears going down my face, “No modifications?”
“None, until the appeals process is completed,” the officer said. “Mrs. Stein and I will wait here with you to ensure that nothing happens to you inside of this hospital.”
I shifted my gaze over to Addison, who clearly looked perplexed. She didn’t look angry at the turn of events, but she did wear her ‘I’m worried’ expression that I’d learned to read years ago.
“What happens next?” I asked Kendra.
“We have a hearing tomorrow in front of a different judge to see if the injunction can stand. Judge Jones' order carries through until then.”
I felt more tears go down my face knowing that appeals like these rarely went well for someone like me. “Thank you,” I said simply as tears fell down my cheeks in relief.
Kendra walked over to the bed and grabbed my hand and leaned over to whisper in my ear, “Behave, and be smart! We’re going to get you out of this mess.”
She leaned down and hugged me, something which I returned half-heartedly due to the anesthesia. ‘I hope I even remember this later,’ I couldn’t help but think.
“Here, why don’t you try drinking this down, Sweetie,” a nurse said handing me a clear sippy cup that seemed to contain water.
Kendra looked at her, “That is just water, right?”
“Yes, ma’am, once an injunction is received, we wouldn’t dare do anything else. Keep in mind the procedure we were about to perform normally isn’t possible to be performed in this hospital against the patients' will anymore. Only the court order made it possible to perform that procedure without Mr. Sylvester’s consent.”
I smiled at that, ‘saved just in the nick of time…’
An hour later I was held by Addison as she carried me out to the car, followed closely by the officer and Kendra.
“Ms. Harris, you have officially been served this injunction. Please ensure that no modifications happen physically to Mr. Sylvester prior to his appeal being heard and a judgement rendered.”
“Yes sir,” she told him as she stood up from buckling me inside.
Kendra waved at me forlornly as Addison drove away from the hospital. “Shit, Mom is going to be pissed,” she said under her breath.
I found myself rubbing the soft fleece fabric of the pink footed pajamas she had dressed me in. A pacifier had been slipped inside of my mouth before she closed the door, but I spit it out when she began driving. ‘Maybe I have a chance here…’ I thought.
I MUST HAVE fallen back asleep from the anesthesia. I remembered having surgery and having that problem before. I might have been awake, but the drugs still weren’t completely clear from my system! A large face was in front of me and I realized Addison was already back home and picking me up from the car seat.
“Cammie, just to warn you, we are about to have company. Be careful what you say…”
I looked up at her, and rubbed my eyes. “Who?”
“My mom,” she said.
She reinserted the pacifier she had clipped to my outfit inside my mouth, and carried me inside. She took me upstairs, and then she paused as if considering which room to go inside. She shook her head and went inside the one I had chosen and laid me down on the changing table. I hadn’t gone pee yet, and she noticed. “Do you need to go pee pee, Sweetie?”
I looked up at her, thought about it, and nodded, “A little.”
“Can you be a good girl and go in your diapee so I can change you, and then you’ll be in a dry diapee when my mom gets here?”
It took some effort, and I had to sit up, but I managed to empty what was in my bladder from the IV fluids and the glass of water I’d had.
“Good girl,” she told me and pushed me back down on the table. The sleeper I’d been dressed in was unzipped and she pulled my legs out and pushed the onesie up behind my back so she could reach the diaper.
I sat still as she ripped one tape, then the other, and then pulled the diaper open. I sat up and looked desperately with my eyes that my parts were still intact, before she pushed me back down.
“Stay down,” she said, “I guess I should have used the strap, huh?”
I shook my head, “Sorry, I needed to see.” I decided I didn’t care who was listening in, who wouldn’t want to see for himself?!?
I looked at her face and noticed that she seemed hurt by that, but took one of the warm wipes and wiped my groin first, then lifted me off the wet diaper and wiped my butt. She held me up in the air another moment while she opened a new diaper and placed it underneath me. I was waking up a bit as she rubbed my diaper area down with some cream first, then folded the diaper over and sealed me in with the two tapes. She pulled the sleeper back down and pushed my feet inside before zipping me back up.
She had barely picked me back up when a doorbell sounded downstairs. She sighed, “Come on, let’s get this over with.”
During our time dating there had been plenty of moments I had been jealous of her having a complete family. As a little kid my mom had been everything to me until she died, and I couldn’t imagine ever disparaging her honestly. It was clear to me though that Addy felt about the same as I did about her mom – something that was really sad to me. Addy gripped me tightly under my diaper and walked downstairs to the door.
“Took you long enough,” Aubry Harris told her daughter as she opened the door. “Where’s Mindy? Don’t we pay her to be here?”
“She was in early this morning Mom; I don’t need her waiting on me all of the time.”
Her mom looked like she was going to argue, but instead shifted her attention to me. The bottled color of her hair had never really changed in the years since we’d met, but I could tell it was gradually making her hair a bit more brittle and thinning it out. I debated about looking away from her eyes, but instead stared her down, biting down on the pacifier as hard as I could to avoid saying something I shouldn’t.
“How is it that this little brat isn’t treated by nanites yet? Lynn swore to me her ruling would stand!”
“I don’t know Mom, but those two attorneys she used to work with did something. Do you know who this Judge is that put the injunction in?”
Her mom’s eyes made contact with me and she ripped the pacifier out of my mouth. “Who is this Judge?!? How can she possibly be stupid enough to go against me?”
I couldn’t help it.
And laughed! My hiccoughs started then, and her mom looked like she wanted to hit me. “Give the brat to me, I’ll teach him to laugh at me!!!”
Addy backed away though and her arms wrapped protectively around me. “Mom, she’s just been under anesthesia, is stressed from being struck down from being an adult, and has you yelling at her. You are not going to teach her anything.”
“Why you ungrateful little…!!!” Her mom looked like she might have been about to slap her then and I froze.
“I’ll tell you, but don’t hit her.” I managed to gasp.
It startled her enough to snap her out of her rage towards Addison for a moment at least. “Who is this judge?”
“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Jones,” I smiled at her shock, “I’m lucky enough that she oversees this circuit.”
“That bitch!!!! The one who handed down the verdict against us four years ago?”
I smiled at that, “I was happy to be on hand for that actually. Putting that molecule inside of stuff that you tested on Big children wasn’t a smart choice?”
“That’s it! Let’s take him to the office! I want to get this over with! I know you wanted a big preschool Little, but this one is going to be nothing but a baby.”
“Mom there’s an injunction, I can’t let anything physically be altered on him…”
“There’s an injunction against you, there’s nothing against…”
The doorbell rang differently this time, and after a moment I realized it was the gate bell.
Addison looked down at me, at her mom, and then activated a screen on the wall. You could clearly see a marked car with a discrete lightbar sitting there.
“May I help you, officer?” She asked as she shifted me again and pressed a button on the screen.
“Ms. Harris, is Mrs. Harris there?”
“Yes?” Addison said, not noticing her mom trying to get her not to tell him that she was there.
“Would you please open the gate so we may come in?”
“Umm… sure officer,” Addison told him.
“Why the hell did you tell him I’m here?!?”
“I’m not lying to the police for you Mom.”
Her mom looked livid at that, “Young lady, do you remember who I am?!?”
The doorbell rang then and Addison carried me to the entrance way and opened the door. “Good afternoon, how may I help you?”
“Miss, I am Federal Marshal Branch, and this is Marshal Rayburn, you said Mrs. Aubry Harris is here?”
“Yes sir,” Addison said. “Right inside here,” she added and led them to the sitting room that Mrs. Harris stood in.
The two marshals were both large imposing men who I had no doubt could take care of any suspect they needed to. I was more surprised by the fact that the marshals were there though. I guess that meant another subpoena or order was being delivered. They introduced themselves to Mrs. Harris and said, “Ma’am, we are serving you this order from Judge Robert O’Connell, Chief Justice of the 6th Circuit Court. You are hereby ordered to have no contact with your daughter Addison Harris, nor the minor in her care, Cameron Sylvester, otherwise known as Camille Harris. You are not to come within five-hundred yards of them, nor to make any contact via electronic, paper, or other means. Failure to abide by the order will result in you facing consequences including jail time. Here is the order and at this time we will be escorting you off of Ms. Harris’s property.”
“Just who the fuck do you think you are?” she swore at him. She looked at Addison, “Did you have something to do with this?”
“Ma’am I can tell you this order did not originate from any request by your daughter. Now I would advise you to depart peacefully without any further statements. Failure to do so will result in us executing an arrest based on this order.”
I thought for a second that Addison’s mom would argue. “Fine, I’ll have my attorneys deal with this!”
As she passed us, she glared at me like she wanted to strangle me. I involuntarily found myself leaning tighter into Addison’s embrace then, as she walked out the door and one of the officers continued with her, the other stayed there. “Ms. Harris, you received the first order earlier, but this is a further one. You are also not to have any contact with your mom or anyone else from your family, or your family’s company until this matter is brought before Judge O’Connell.”
“What about work?”
“We know this will be an inconvenience for you and your company, but the judge’s order stands…”
“Shit, that’s going to piss my mom off more than her order.”
“She’s being informed of your restrictions at this time now too. Remember there are to be no physical modifications made to Mr. Sylvester.”
“Yes sir,” she told him.
The officer looked at me, “Unfortunately you are a minor, so you have very limited rights until this matter is concluded. The judge will ask you if all parties have complied though.”
I nodded, “Thank you officer,” I said letting the pacifier slip from my mouth for the first time.
“My uncle said to say ‘hi’ if I managed to serve this, with you present.”
“He works for the 3rd Circuit?”
I thought for a minute, “He’s your uncle? He's an awesome, really nice guy. I know Judge Jones had a lot of respect for him!”
He laughed, “She must have a lot of respect for you too.”
Addison’s mom’s car sped out of the drive right then, and he said, “Well, I guess that concludes our business here Ms. Harris. Have a good afternoon,” he said.
Addison held me there for a second in the doorway before looking down at me and closing the door. She sat me down on the ground by the stairwell banister where a side table stood. I looked curiously at her as she pulled her watch and earrings off. She sat her phone down as well that had been jammed into her back pocket. She picked me back up without a word and carried me through the house to a backdoor I hadn’t been through yet.
I gasped at the sight of her backyard then. A massive brick wall surrounded what would be a couple acres of land. A separate fenced area contained an amazing playground set that any real kid would die for! The bigger feature of the backyard though was a fake waterfall mountain that rushed down into a massive swimming pool below. ‘Stacy would have loved this…’ I thought to myself. ‘It looks like something from a theme park…’
She didn’t say a word until she got close enough to the waterfall that it was really noisy. She sat me down in a dry spot between some fake rocks, and sat across from me.
“I’m glad that someone is looking out for you Cameron… Maybe we can get you out of this mess still, but who is this Judge Jones? My mom is going to be out for her blood?”
I laughed, “I wish her luck. I interned and did a mini-clerkship with Judge Jones during Law School. During that time, she set a new precedent in a case of a Little that had escaped from Ames.”
Her eyes opened, “Wait, that’s the same judge? My mom already hated her for that decision before she ruled against her company! You clerked for her?”
“Just a short internship one summer.” I decided not to tell her how close I was to her. I still couldn’t trust her completely after all. “I told my partners to call her.”
She looked a bit shell shocked then, “What can she really do?”
“Well, I’m guessing they already started the investigation into Judge Taney and will find out your mom is on a first name basis if they haven’t already. It sounds like my being forced into being your baby is going to go on appeal as well.”
“I’m sorry about this Cam, I really am!”
I looked up at her, “If you’re so sorry about it, then help me! Don’t make me dress like a baby? Don’t make me dress like a girl?”
She shook her head, “You don’t understand… you never did…”
“Then explain it to me!” I ordered her. “What hold can your mom possibly have on you that would make you encourage the awful atrocities SafeFoods is responsible for?!?”