“THANK YOU, MR. Sylvester,” the judiciary chair said. “The chair now recognizes the Distinguished Senator from Ames, Senator Darling.”
“Thank you,” she said. The tall woman had a severe look with her tightly controlled bun on her head. Her clothing was clearly as high end as it got for a skirt-suit set, and a necklace with five pendants, each holding the name of one of her Littles, hung from her neck. “I have a significant issue with this idea of a Court of Appeals judge having no experience as a previous District Judge or prosecuting attorney, nor am I a fan of you only being barely thirty years old yesterday, as we look at approving you to be one of the most powerful judiciary members in the country. The fact that within the last year or so you have found yourself being taken care of in a daycare, where you were accused of fighting with another Little, makes me even more sure you have no business being in charge of such adult matters…”
“Point of Order! Does the senator have a question?”
One of the president’s biggest allies on the committee challenged her speech.
“Please do get on with it, Mrs. Darling,” the chair said, before looking at his colleague, “Remember she has the right to use or waste time as she sees fit.”
She looked affronted, but continued, “Do you think you have the capabilities to understand case law?”
“Thank you, Madame for your question. I do believe I have the capabilities. I have studied law continuously since beginning my journey in law school, even before then really, and I know how the law is supposed to function. I believe strongly that the constitution gives us the guidance to do so, and that it would be my job as a member of the judiciary to uphold that law.”
“Do you now?”
“Mr. Sylvester, are you aware of the case Dane vs. Tully?”
“Yes, Ma’am,” I said. Aunt Ruth and I were sure this case, and my close proximity to it, would come up.
“What do you think about it?”
“I think it was executed faithfully within the purview of the statutes,” I told her. “That case still stands as precedent under the 3rd Circuit due to never being heard in the Supreme Court.”
“You would be very familiar with it, wouldn’t you?”
“I was clerking for Judge Ruth Jones when it was written,” I agreed.
“Not only were you clerking, but I have a sworn affidavit from a Mrs. Kathy Stanford Everett, who was also clerking at the time, stating that the legal basis and reasoning of the decision were yours alone?”
I wasn’t entirely surprised to see this come up, but the shock on committee members’ faces made me nervous. ‘You’re sworn in under oath,’ Judge Jones had advised me, ‘Just tell the truth.’
“I wouldn’t say that they were mine alone, but I will say I suggested that there was no timing listed in the statute.”
“For anyone who is not aware of this case. Mrs. Dane had her Little girl kidnapped four years prior to the case, and was seeking to regain custody of her now that she’d been found. There was interference against the legally allowed bounty hunter, and Judge Jones, instead of handing her over, gave her time by saying that she wouldn’t need to go back until her kids were old enough to live on their own. That’s correct?”
I nodded, “She had two little babies at home that needed her care as a mother. Judge Jones recognized that she had met all of the requirements for emancipation really except one - her adopted mother signing off on it, and decided that meant she could cope until her Little ones were old enough to live on their own.”
“Except that hasn’t happened, correct?”
“Well, last I knew, she still had two new twin baby girls that are about a year old that would have reset that, but also the Supreme Court chose not to hear the appeal due to her being granted full emancipation in the state of New Haven shortly after they were in court for the initial case.”
“You feel this is just? You feel like this follows the law?” She pushed.
I stared her in the eyes. “Is it just that she would have to abandon her babies? That they would have had to grow up without a mother...?”
“Is it just that the medical examiners demonstrated without a doubt that she had been abused and neglected by Mrs. Dane?” I paused, “Is it just that you would send a poor woman who made her way in this world to freedom back to the most unsafe and miserable environment they could have?”
“It’s the law!”
“Should it be?” I suggested.
“Do you believe all Littles should be freed from their adoptions?”
I knew this one was coming, so I came up prepared, “I believe that the most precious thing in life is the ability to choose our destiny. You mentioned this case, and my own time of being unjustly declared a case of Maturosis by a judge who was being blackmailed? What you didn’t mention is that the love of my life, my fiancée, disappeared one day, as her father took her and her similarly afflicted mother to run from a corporation who had made it their goal to find a way to force more Mids into the same surrogate baby relationship as Littles. You failed to mention that she was mentally completely destroyed by the illegal and unethical experimentation.”
“You failed to mention that, while there are many Littles out there who do benefit from the additional care, there are Millions, Millions, that are forcibly taken, beaten, neglected, and emotionally and sexually abused for so-called mothering instincts. That Maturosis has become a crutch of a way to send more that direction?”
“Mister Sylvester, stop…”
“Madame, you asked if I feel that every little should be free? The answer is the same as every Mid and every Big. Yes, I feel that they should be free. And here’s the deal, I’m also okay if a Little genuinely wants that caring relationship of a good adopted mother or father!”
Her mouth stopped moving. “What?”
“In the State of New Haven, we have roughly three abuse cases brought up per ten thousand Littles each year. Do you have an idea of that number for your own State of Ames?”
“No… But I’m sure you do?”
“Yes, I do. It’s one-hundred and thirty per one thousand there. Or thirteen in a hundred! It’s four-hundred times the rate of New Haven! Why do you think that is?”
She looked at me angrily, “You’re so smart, you tell me!”
“Because the majority of adoptions in New Haven are done consensually, excepting court orders as an alternative to jail or prison. If there’s a choice involved, studies show that their adoptive parents tend to treat them with more love and care.”
“So, you do feel like all Littles should be free?”
“Free to make a choice, yes! Same as Mids and Bigs. Many of them might surprise you and still choose to be surrogate babies if given the chance. I have a friend of mine from college who genuinely loves being her mommy’s baby. I’ve also seen people ripped from my life for no good reason – and that should never happen.”
“Senator Darling your time is up, the committee will now recess for thirty minutes, hear closing statements, and then return for a vote.” The chair said as they banged his gavel.
Addy came up to me and bent down to give me a hug out in the lobby where she had been waiting. “So how do you think it went?” She asked me.
I shrugged, “I pissed off Senator Darling.”
“Easy to do… Did I ever tell you what we did at one of her parties once as a teenager…?” She started to say, and then we saw her approaching us.
“Miss Harris?” She seemed surprised. “Why are you here?”
“Here to support my fiancée,” she told her.
“Where is he?”
“Right here,” she said, putting a hand on my shoulder.
“But you thought my mom had solved that problem years ago, I’d guess? Don’t worry, the wedding is a small guest list, you won’t have to feel awkward at responding to an invitation,” she said.
‘Meow! The cat claws are out…’ I thought to myself.
“Why…” She started to say then turned and walked away.
“That was worth the price of admission,” Senator Venire, the chair, said as he came up.
“Glad we could entertain you,” I told the tall man.
“You did well out there. You should advance through here just fine.”
“Really! Your appointment solves a problem that most everyone in there knows we have.”
I shrugged, “I’m just going through the process.”
He laughed, “Good luck with your marriage,” he told us as he walked away.
FORTY-EIGHT HOURS later Aunt Ruth was meeting me in the courtroom I had first watched her run, swearing me in as a judge.
It had been a momentous day, and my new robes hung heavily about me as I realized that I truly had been given power to make a difference in people’s lives. We had just hugged goodbye, and pulled away to drive back to what had become our home, when my phone rang. Since Addy was driving, I was free to answer it.
“Is this Judge Sylvester?”
I laughed, recognizing the voice, “You’re the first person to call me that on the phone.”
“That’s a great honor, Your Honor,” the voice said jovially. “I just wanted to let you know that the deal with Aubry Harris and Danica Harris was approved by Judge Flanders.”
“Final terms?” I asked. Addy had glanced over at me with a sour expression on her face.
“Aubry Harris was sentenced to six consecutive terms of six months to twelve years in the Cribbing Penitentiary, followed by mind wipe and three-month status to be readopted.”
I didn’t feel even a little bit guilty at that sentence. I knew that meant she would be kept in diapers – even as a twelve-year-old, for a total of seventy-two years, re-regressing every time before she turned thirteen again, before being readopted out as a true newborn with no memories of her old life at all. Additionally, that wasn’t a twelve-year-old in ‘Big’ sizes, that would be a twelve-year-old as a Little. She would most likely never get past the size of being a two-year-old in Big sizes during that entire time. In the meantime, she would remember everything she had done, just as she was given every bit of the babying treatment that she had sentenced others to.
“Two of the same consecutive terms, and readopted at a six-month status with mind wipe.”
I shuddered a bit at that one. Dani had always felt like the unwitting accomplice to me up until the very end. “Thanks for letting me know,” I told him.
“You’re welcome, I hope it lets you sleep a little bit easier. They’ll both be regressed for the first time tomorrow morning.”
“Thanks, and good luck,” I told Mike Doster, a man who I had talked to frequently over the phone. “I appreciate you sticking with the case even after all of the hate mail you’ve received.”
“You know that feeling yourself too. Good luck, and congrats Judge Sylvester!”
OVER THE NEXT month we finished planning our wedding while also dealing with additional therapy appointments. Neither of us were lying to ourselves and saying we were ‘okay’ after everything we’d been through, so we were seeing a counselor both separately, and together, to help us deal with the emotional trauma we had both been through since the week after Addy reappeared.
Thinking about everything that had happened to us, we decided not to hold back on our wedding in any way for timing. We were both now without family really, even though I did have some extended cousins and aunts and uncles that flew in for the occasion. Judge Jones was officiating the ceremony. In the end we had a pretty, but beautiful, small ceremony with Judge Jones' husband being brought in to ‘give away’ Addy to me. It was a beautiful ceremony, and of course Addy was the highlight! She was spectacularly beautiful in her traditional dress! Having Amanda, Fred, Megan, and Meg all there made it feel even more special to me!
We’d flown immediately after the reception to a private island down in the Havana Sea. It turned out she had purchased the entire island after everything had been settled out in court with her family’s estate, and we enjoyed a two-week honeymoon on the beaches. While I spent much of the time those weeks dressed as her husband, I also indulged her on some of the evenings as her ‘baby girl.’ Her mothering instincts were hard for her to stop completely, and I admitted to her that I enjoyed it as just a game.
As a consequence, over the next few months when we returned back to Crescent City, I often found myself ‘indisposed’ on the weekends, being taken care of in a nursery she had put together. Fortunately, the nanites seemed to still keep the incontinence effects at bay, but I did get noticeably moody if I went a few days without getting a hit from her breasts.
We’d been married for four months when Addy surprised me with an ‘adult’ candlelight dinner on our back patio on one of the nights we normally would have been playing. “What’s the occasion?” I asked her once we had started eating the amazing dish she had made.
“So… Look, you know I’ve felt terrible about what my family did to Beth?”
I nodded, “You were in grad school, you weren’t to blame…”
“No, I may not have been there pulling the trigger, but my family was… Anyway, I’ve had some ideas that I spoke with Amanda, Fred, and Holly Nickerson about…”
I looked up at the candle burning just above the level of my face and into her eyes, “Do you have something…?”
“Well… you know that ‘Premature Birth’ fad that’s going on back in Selegnasol?”
I made a face, “Yeah, it’s bullshit making poor Littles live inside of their ‘mommies’ for nine-months and then be reborn!”
I was not a fan of the process, and the few survivors who could still talk afterwards all seemed to be seriously hampered by the psychological effects of being isolated in a womb for that time!
“Well, the way they’re using it is awful, but I got to thinking that maybe it could be used in a positive way…”
I looked up at her face incredulously, “How could that horror be made positive?”
“Why would I want to submit her to that?!?”
“Hear me out?” She asked soothingly.
“It’s not sounding good,” I angrily thought, but took a breath and said, “What’s the idea?”
“I think we can use the procedure Doctor Nickerson and Amanda came up with to remove the plaque and other damage from her brain. If she’s implanted into a womb, we can use that time to heal all of the rest of her synapses, body damage, and even alter her DNA.”
“Alter it to what?”
“A mix of her new parents so she doesn’t have to be short forever?”
“That can be done?”
“The process would result in her coming out a little larger than a newborn Big, but she would be able to grow up. I mean it would be completely regrowing up. From nursing, to solid foods, to potty training, the terrible twos, elementary school, awkward teenage years, and all, but she could at least have a future…”
I bit my tongue for a second, “And who would carry her?”
“Me?” She suggested.
“Why not me?”
“I don’t know…” I said uncomfortably. “That might be really awkward,” I told her.
“She wouldn’t remember anything of her previous life…” she reminded me.
I thought for a long while without saying anything. “What about her dad?”
“I’ve talked to him… He’s okay with it if you’re onboard. He knows he can’t take care of her forever, and he’s sure that she’s got a matter of a couple years before her body crumbles like his wife’s.”
“So, what… She’s our daughter then?”
“She’d be our daughter.”
We debated back and forth for a few weeks. I consulted with Amanda, Holly, and some other medical professionals I knew before I too agreed it was her only chance to not die a meaningless death. A month later I watched in abject horror as a machine was hooked up to Addy and the sleeping Beth. Earlier that day I had spent some time just holding her and brushing her hair. Over the time since her mother had died, she had become skinnier and frailer, to the point where I could tell that she was just literally wasting away – clearly having given up any hope of life.
I watched as a tube somehow squeezed her anesthetized form through the machine into the womb of Addy, and apparently shrank her quite a bit too, as there wasn’t that much of a visible baby bump at first. We watched over the months as that changed, and soon we had a bouncing baby girl as they say! Addy behaved like any other infant, and began hitting all of the milestones that a newborn baby should right on time!
A few months after that birth, another miracle happened… Addy got pregnant the natural way! Something about the artificial pregnancy had given her body a kickstart and we were happy and shocked to learn of the upcoming new member of our family!
For the next couple of years, it was certainly tough for us as new parents! Lance was born about five days after Beth’s first birthday, and he wasn’t even eighteen months old when Laura was born, followed by just a bit over a year until Jason was born.
Until Beth was nearly two, I still joined her and Lance in the diapered group every now and then. As Beth once again began talking though, we decided it wouldn’t be a good idea for word to get out to the country that the mid-sized Appellate Court Justice liked to spend time as a baby alongside his babies!
Since Addy had genuine babies to take care of, her own mothering needs were more than fulfilled by the rambunctious brood we now had. She became a full-time stay-at-home mom, clearly loving every minute of the lives of our children.
As my now much shorter hair grayed though, it was amazing to watch our children grow up. I did my best from the bench to make sure that the world they grew up in was as just a world as it could be for them, and all sizes of our people!
fuccx · Feb 14, 2022This story is so perfect and complete. At the end of chapters the part that mostly surprise me is the change of relationship of Addy and Beth. Addy as a real mother of Beth which is her own 'rival' is so hit my point! I believe addy will so fulfil every time little Beth calls her mommy. Their daily life of mother Addy and baby Beth deserve some more epilogue.