The Power of AI

by: Ambrose | Complete Story | Last updated Feb 9, 2024

Chapter 2
The Power of AI(Chapter 2)

Chapter Description: Dave made his big journey home and feels he has more than earned back his teenhood. Things aren’t that easy though as neither has the AI shown its full potential, yet, nor is everyone convinced a back to normalcy would be preferable to what it has to offer.

Dave looked around. Everything looked familiar but strange at the same time. He knew every surface, furniture, and color here, but it was as if it had been replaced by something made for giants. Yet, at the same time, it was home. It was safe! This realization made something burst in him. A dam of fear, held in check by a thin line of self-control. He felt near collapsing. His head felt too light and his whole body as if it was an automaton controlled by a cheap controller.


This was his mother’s voice. Had she called him before? He didn’t know, but looked around, seeing her stare at him from so far above, her eyes wide with disbelief. Strangely this sight helped to calm him. He had been through so much this morning. Had so often passed a hurdle, thinking he would be able to get home only to find another, even larger one in front of him, but now …

The regressed teen nodded and made a step further in. Further to safety. He noticed him shoes being loose and instead of trying to tighten the velcros again, he just kicked them away, sending them flying and finding nothing at the sight, but a numb feeling of relief.

In this moment Lilly entered the living room, holding a water-bottle and starring at the kindergartner.

“Who is this?”

Dave couldn’t answer. Having seen his mother so big had been a shock, even when he foggily remembered her once having been this compared to him. Seeing his younger sister towering over him like this felt like a kick to the stomach.

“Your brother,” her mother answered, her own voice still filled with disbelief.

Lilly rolled her eyes. “Good joke.”

“We had an argument over you getting out more when I came home from the game … the game I lost,” Dave said. “You called me an athlete. For your last birthday I gave you a coupon over 20,- $ for Walmart I know you never used …”

He stopped as he saw his sister’s jaw dropping as she starred at him through her glasses.


Her brother nodded.


“Yes,” their mother noticed. “How?”

“I wanted to know how I would look if I were older, so I downloaded an Image-AI … it is a Beta,” Dave recounted, emphasizing the last part for no reason he could have rationally explain. “When I had uploaded my pictures and tried it, it froze. I had to go back to school, so I clicked again and again and again and … When it finally ran it didn’t have the settings of 25 years … but 25 months.”

For a moment his mother and sister starred at him speechless, then the latter began to giggle.

“Lilly!” Her mother chided her.

“Sorry!” The girl said, trying to control herself.

“You don’t look so young.” Linda noticed, taking a close look at her son.

“The program runs slowly,” Dave explained. “I only noticed when I was in school.”

“Why didn’t you call us with your cell-phone?” Lilly asked, no longer giggling, but still smiling.

Something in this question made Dave snap. Maybe it was the simpleness of the question. Maybe it was his sister’s still amused tone. Maybe it was even that for a moment she reminded him of the teenagers in the park …

“Why?!” He nearly shouted. “Because I lost it when running from Mr. Garth. He got me when I wanted to just race back home, because he thought I was a middle-schooler playing a prank! I tried to call mum, but she didn’t recognize me because my voice broke. I managed to escape and drive to the park, but there I shrunk so much that I lost hold of my bike and slid down a slope. Fishing for my keys I fell in the goddamn river …”

This was when Dave realized he still held the bag with his old wet clothes. He emptied it on the floor, not caring that it got wet. His sister and mother starred at the heap as if it were as strange as the regressed teenager.

“See?!” He asked. “I crept into Mike’s mother’s shop and got me new clothes, because I didn’t want to drive through the park naked, but when I was half through there was a group of kids and … and …”

The regressed teenager couldn’t continue. He had begun to shake despite clenching his fists and trying to suppress it. A moment later he felt a warm embrace. It was his mother holding him tightly from behind.

“It is okay,” she assured him in a soft voice. “You were so brave. You are home. You are safe.”

For a heartbeat Dave wanted to resist, wanted to tell here that he were big and didn’t need a hug, but then he let it happen, simply not having the strength to do much else. He didn’t know if it were these words or the feeling of warmth, but after what could have been minutes, he finally felt the tremors stop. Surprised he noticed that his face was wet from tears. He briefly looked at his sister if she would mock him for it, but she just watched him with a look on her face he couldn’t quite identify.

“Thank you,” he said, stepping out of the embrace, while embarrassed rubbed away the tears with his hands. “I have … uh …”

“What?” His mother asked alarmed.

“My teeth,” Dave explained, touching them with his tongue. “Somehow they are strange.”

“Let me see.”

At first he wanted to resist, but then he gave in, realizing there was no mirror near he could look at it himself. He opened his mouth and his mother looked in it.

“Oh,” Linda noticed after a moment.

“What?!” Dave asked terrified.

“You are getting your milk teeth back.”

Her son starred at her, his eyes growing wide as he went through his mouth with his tongue again. Yes, there were gaps appearing and other quickly refilling with smaller versions of the teeth he was used for by now.

“But shouldn’t they already?” Lilly asked. “In biology our teacher said this happens between 6 and 12 and Dave is …”

Linda thought about it. “Maybe the program doesn’t work exactly chronologically?”

Dave had enough. “I’ll stop this now!”

With this declaration he turned around and made a step to the stairs. This image of decisiveness was only hampered by him needing to grab his shorts for them not to fall. He did let his socks slip off his feet though, as he had enough trouble to scale the steps which suddenly had become like a mountain to him. His mother and sister watched this with a mix of worry and disbelief, before following.

Having overcome just another problem of this day, Dave stopped in the doorway to his bedroom. The feeling of strangeness he had felt when finally entering the house just intensified, as his eyes went over what should have felt like the safest place in it, but proofed to be so out of scale compared to what he remembered it, that it felt like the weirdest. As he entered it, looking at the large furniture, he couldn’t help but feel like someone had replaced his room with a bizarro version, a twisted mirror image.

Don’t lose it, he told himself, tightening his fists. Not now!

Determined the regressed teenager went to his computer, but found his gaming chair now towering over him. Dave clenched his teeth, held on to the armrests and lifting one leg first, somehow managed to climb it, nearly losing his shorts in the process. Grinning he turned around to his computer … only to find the mouse and keyboard out of reach on the desk. He groaned, when suddenly the chair moved as if out of pity. Only when he looked around, he noticed it was his mother.

“Nice effort,” she said dryly. “But you can ask for help.”

Humiliated, Dave decided to turn his attention to the computer. First thing he noticed was that the progress bar was at 20,7 %. A quick calculation, proving his mind wasn’t affected, told him that since he had started 16 and the final age would be 25 months, 10 % were 1,4 years. This meant was a little under 5 and would still go down nearly 3 years!

Deciding he wouldn’t let this happen, he grabbed the mouse. His hands had shrunk so much, that he couldn’t even hold it properly, still he managed to move the cursor to the abort button and click … nothing happened. He clicked on it again and again and again, but unlike when it had started this time the program wouldn’t miraculously obey.

“Oh, come on!” He whined, shoving the mouse away.

“What if we switch it off?” His mother asked, having seen what was going on.

“No!” Lilly protested a bit too quickly, only to add calmer: “I mean we don’t know what would happen with the data. Best let it finish.”

“Let it finish?” In disbelief Dave looked up at his now larger sister. “No way!”

“It isn’t you could shrink so much more,” she commented with a small smile, the monitor for a moment reflecting on her glasses. “Besides you look cute!”

Her brother looked like he wanted to jump up on the chair and into her face, so their mother decided to intervene, knowing an argument wasn’t what they needed right now.

“Just restarting the computer is too risky, Dave,” she decided firmly, not wanting her son in any more danger, but adding in a softer tone. “Let us first look at the program. Maybe there is something you missed.”

Reluctantly and still hindered by the size of the mouse as well as his fingers somehow lacking fine motor skills, Dave went through the menu. The help section was rather short, as was the part about possible bugs, mainly containing an e-mail address to write to if serious issues were encountered.

“This is a serious issue,” Linda commented.

“I somehow doubt this is what they had in mind,” her son noticed dryly. “I mean do you two want to speak with people creating such a thing?!”

Neither his mother nor his sister answered, so he continued to go through it the menus, mostly consisting out of options for the image ai to create and change pictures. Most were greyed out, seemingly planned to be added later, including options to change gender or even species. Dave prayed that the company would go bankrupt until it could add these options or even more.

“What is this?” His mother asked, pointing to a part of the monitor.

“The Chat-AI,” Dave informed her. “The AI has both options.”

She looked down on him. “Maybe it can give you some answers.”

Her son wanted to say how unlikely this sounded, but then again, he didn’t have many options left, had he? Needing all his concentration, Dave moved the mouse to the section and clicked. The he went to the field for a new chat and began to write.

Hpw id the ptohramn mskunmwqe me yoznrefß

I can’t decipher this. Please try again!

“What is this?” Lilly asked, reading the text.

“My fingers are too chubby!” Dave complained. “I wanted to write: How did the program make me younger?”

“Let me see,” their mother said.

Without asking she picked him up, sat on the chair and placed him onto her lap.


She ignored his protest and entered the question properly.

Your Image-AI is turning my son into a 25-month-old. How does the program make my son younger?

Using the newest data models Warp-Reality-AI is able to estimate how a person looked or will look at any moment in time based on current photos.

But it does it shouldn’t do it in real life!

Please specify the error, so I might offer solutions.

Dave is 16 years not 25 months, but your program is turning him younger. He isn’t happy being this young.

Wouldn’t it thus be fine if Dave was thinking more like his age?

Yes, but …

Before Linda could formulate her objections out, the telephone on Dave’s desk rang. At first she wanted to ignore it, but then recognized the number as that of her boss. Frustrated and without even registering it she pressed enter, grabbed the phone and just as much without really thinking about it, stood up, holding Dave close to herself on her hip.

“Mr. Meyer what is it?”

Dave wanted to protest, more than a bit overwhelmed to be carried this way, but realized his voice might raise too many questions. So, he remained silent, as his mother talked with her boss while walking through the room with him in her arms.

“What?” Linda asked. “Yes, I have reset the parameter. Maybe Allen has not restarted the program. You know I has problems pulling the data since the last update.”

Lilly meanwhile looked at the monitor. The program did react on the latest entry.

As language-AI I’m glad to help!

With this a progress bar appeared on the monitor, looking like the one showing the progress of her brother being turned 25 months old, but this one much faster.

10 % … 17 % …

Lilly looked at her brother in their mother’s arms. He had placed his head on her shoulder, but didn’t change, as she had half-expected but something was happening, wasn’t it?

“Okay fine, until tomorrow,” Linda ended the talk, before turning back to the monitor. “Has anything happened?”

Lilly looked back, finding to her relief that the progress bar had disappeared. Whatever had changed had changed quick.

“No,” she lied. “The program didn’t do anything.”

Frustrated Linda placed the phone back on the charger and switched the program back to the section with the Image-AI. Still 15,6 %. A good year at least. She looked at her son she still held in her arms who looked as tired as she felt.

“Okay, we stick to the original plan and wait.” She looked around. “But not down here. I will go mad if I stare on the monitor. Let us all go downstairs and I make us all something tasty.”

No one protested.




Such a little later, Linda stood in the open kitchen making sandwiches for her children. Dave was still clinging on her, as Lilly watched him with growing curiosity while sitting on the couch in front of the tv. Despite having her son so close had been comforting at first, Linda began to worry her a bit, even more so as she could have sworn he had become even lighter. This eased a bit, as she noticed him showing interest in the cheese pepperoni sandwich which had always been his favorite.

“Hungry?” She asked.

Dave nodded, turning in her arms and looking down on the plate with sandwiches. Linda smiled on this and placed him on the ground, despite his silent murmurs of protests.

“Here.” His mother handed him a cheese-pepperoni sandwich. “You can eat it in front of the tv, if you bring your sister her peanut-butter sandwich.”

Happy with the deal, Dave took both and walked to Lilly. His shorts and undies fell down his ankles on the way, but this obviously didn’t bother him, for he just stepped out of them without looking back. At the couch, he offered the peanut butter sandwich to his sister with a big smile, his private parts well hidden by his shirt now nearly going to his knees.

“Thank you,” Lilly said as she took her sandwich. “This is what I call a big brother!”

Dave gave her a goofy smile and took a big bite of his own.

Linda came over with a plate of more sandwiches and some bottles of water and cola. As she picked up Dave’s shorts and undies, she guessed he hadn’t changed too much after all, and yet …

“Let’s see what is on tv,” Lilly suggested.

She grabbed the remote control and switched on the tv. With some clicks she switched to her favorite music channel, playing some rock songs. Dave watched it for some seconds and then began to whip on his feet in the rhythm. Insecure he smiled at his sister, clearly seeking approval, which she gave by returning the smile.

“You like it?” she asked.

Dave nodded.

“Well,” her face lit up even more, shining behind her glasses.. “Let’s see if you like this even more!”

She went to the cable menu, down some streaming channels, made a little search and … a large purple dinosaur appeared on tv.

Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination

And when he’s tall

He’s what we call a dinosaur sensation

Dave looked at it, clearly amiss at what to make at it, but then something seemed to click in his mind, for he ran to the tv.

Barney’s friends are big and small

They come from lots of places

After school they meet to play

And sing with happy faces.

The regressed teenager began to jump happily up and down in tone of the lyric, imitating the children on the tv.

Barney shows us lots of things

Like how to play pretend

ABC’s and 123’s

And how to be a friend

The jumping caused his shirt to slip down his shoulder, but he didn’t mind, excitedly imitating the children and stuffed dinosaurs he saw and which had just become so enthralling to him that they pushed away the last remnants of worries he had felt moments before.

Barney comes to play with us

Whenever we may need him

Barney can be your friend too

If you just make-believe him

The song ended and Dave stopped jumping, not bothering to put his shirt straight again, his eyes totally glued to the tv and the funny adventure which had just started there. His sister never stopped smiling while watching this and even their mother couldn’t help herself but smile at this innocent scene. It felt good to have her little boy back if only for a while. Yet …


The regressed teenager was too captured by the show to hear his mother.


This time he looked around, looking at her with a slight confusion why he was stopped from watching this great show.

“Come here darling,” Linda asked.

He didn’t want to, hearing the funny laughter coming from the tv behind him, but his mother’s open arms looked just a bit more enticing, so he ran to her with a big grin on his face. She picked him up and placed him on her lap.

“I know you have fun,” Linda told him, “but isn’t this a bit too young for you?”

Dave looked from her to Barney, obviously not sure.

“I mean you are a teenager,” she continued. “You know how old you really are, do you?”

His innocent looking face turned into a scowl as he tried to remember.

“Six …” He gave up. “Big?”


Dave nodded, though still not looking too sure.

“Do you remember being older?”

“Me … I remembew being oldah … older …” The regressed teenager looked at his tiny hands and then at Barney singing on the tv with his friends, a mix of toddler attraction and teenager resistance showed on his face. “Baby stuff … it feels so natural!”

Tears showed in his eyes.

“Hush,” Linda calmed her son. “It is okay. It is just a side effect of the transformation. It will pass once we turn you back to your normal age. You can look Barney so long. Don’t worry.”

A bit reassured, Dave continued to watch the show, quickly once again captured by the bright colors and happy songs. Her mother looked over her son in her lap to her daughter, who had watched this just as captured as her brother was by Barney. Linda could find no worry in her face and guessed it was just this. Everything would be back to normal soon.




Barney ended with the large purple dinosaur waving goodbye to all his friends. Still sitting on his mother’s lap, Dave waved back. Linda felt relieved the show was over. Given her son’s behavior and size his regression into a two-year-old was either done or just about to be. Not too keen to find out if his potty training was any more advanced at this point this time around, she grabbed the remote control to switch the tv off and …


“Goddamn!” She cursed.

“Damn!” Dave repeated with a giggle.

Knowing this hadn’t been her high-point in parenting, Linda put her son from her lap on the couch. He didn’t seem to mind too much and kept watching the beginning “Thomas the Engine”, as his mother walked to the door, followed by Lilly not too far behind. Linda opened the door, half expecting Mike, Dave’s friend who wanted to make sure he was okay, or Mrs. Pepper, having decided not to have pestered her enough.

Instead, she found two police officers, male and female, waiting for her.

“Mrs. Johnson?” The female one asked.


“I’m Officer Berry, this is Officer McDaniels,” she introduced herself. “We are here because of a call to Child Protection Service about an unsupervised minor. May we enter?”

Cursing Mrs. Pepper under her breath, Linda nodded with a forced smile and let them in.

“I know this comes from my neighbor,” she noticed, trying her best to sound friendly and relaxed. “She is a bit … special.”

“We can’t disclose our sources.” Officer Berry explained. “Yet, we must go after leads.”

“Where is the child?” Officer McDaniels asked.

Linda pointed at Dave. The regressed teen was too much focused on Thomas and his friends in the TV to even notice. Yet, the officers did notice something.

“According to the call the child is supposed to be around five,” the female officer said, her voice showing light suspicion.

“Which shows you how much you can trust your source.” Linda replied, satisfied with herself for this answer.

“He wrote the bike lying outside?” McDaniels asked in disbelief.

“My daughter held him,” she lied, spinning a more reasonable scenario which at the same time would make Mrs. Pepper’s report even more unbelievable. “They play together nicely. You can ask her.”

This was when she noticed, that Lilly wasn’t around anymore.

“She went upstairs,” Officer Berry informed her.

“Ah,” Linda replied, feeling slightly betrayed. “She doesn’t go well with strangers.”

“No problem,” the officer replied. “I have a daughter this age.”

They shared a smile, but any hope that it was over with this evaporated, when the male officer turned to her son.

“This is Dave?” he asked. “Your nephew?”

“Yes,” Linda said, walking over to him. Her son was still focused on the tv and she was for once thankful for his mind being more like that of a toddler right now, so he wouldn’t be nervous. “Dave. Same name as my son.”

At the mentioning of his name, Dave looked up, looking first at his mother and then the police officers.

“Damn!”, he noticed, before turning back to the tv.

Linda’s face turned slightly red. Of all words …

“He has big ears,” she tried to excuse him.

“And big clothing?” Officer Berry said, noticing the oversized shirt he wore.

“He … he made the old ones dirty and my sister didn’t bring enough clothes, so we gave him some of my son’s old ones,” Linda lied with a smile which felt very forced to her. “He likes it this way and what is the harm while watching tv. Right Dave?”

Dave looked up a moment. “Yes mama.”

Linda felt her smile freezing, even as her son already turned his attention back to the tv.

“Lightly distracted,” she made up as excuse.

“TV does this,” Officer Berry noticed.

“What is your sister’s name?” Officer McDaniel asked. “Where is she registered? Is she in marriage?”

“Claire …” Linda replied, swallowing hard. “Claire John … Mcduffin … From Des Moines. Iowa.”

This came a bit too late, as she could see in the eyes of the officers. The male one took out his official looking smart phone and began tipping in things. Linda felt her throat getting narrower and narrower, as she realized how much trouble she was in. She doubted there were enough files about her to show she didn’t have a sister, but the officers weren’t just giving up. One look through the house and they would notice no pictures of her and her supposed sister and if they wanted even more details, decided to wait or call her parents to verify it …

Linda’s eyes wandered to Dave who followed Thomas the Engine and his friends, making engine sounds, blissfully unaware how close he was to be apprehended after all he had been through already and if they even put her in jail for kidnapping …

Officer McDaniel scowled, looked up from his smartphone at Dave and down again, before smiling.

“Here we have it,” he said, turning to his partner, his eyes looking more than a bit glassy in this moment. “Everything is all right.”

“What?” Officer Berry asked, slightly confused.

“He is her son,” her partner noticed. “Two years old.”

“I …” now she scowled, too, looked at Dave and then smiled with the same glassy eyes as her partner. “Yes! You are right. Two years old. Must have been the wrong house.”

“We are sorry to have disturbed you Mrs.,” Officer McDaniel excused himself. “The call was clearly false alarm. Maybe the wrong home.”

“I …” Linda began, feeling a moment totally baffled before deciding to move along with it. “No need to be sorry. You are doing your job.”

“Have a nice day,” the officer said.

“Yes, madam,” Officer Berry joined. “You, too, Dave.”

The regressed teenager didn’t look up, while his mother couldn’t look away, as she watched the officers leave and close the door behind them as if they had been just a bad dream. Had Dave felt this way on his voyage here? No wonder he had collapsed on arriving!

“Are they gone?”

Linda looked up to see her daughter standing on the steps leading upstairs.

“Yes,” she answered. “They somehow got confused and then said it was a mistake and that Dave was my son … my two-year-old son. But why …”

“It worked!”

“Worked?” Linda wasn’t sure she had heard correctly. “What worked?”

“When the Chat-AI asked if the situation would be okay if Dave thought more like a two-year-old, you tipped yes. There was a progress bar. You didn’t see it, because your boss’s call and I wasn’t sure if it meant anything, but …” Lily looked at her regressed brother still only aware of what happened on the tv. “But then he behaved differently. I still wasn’t sure, but when the police came, I had to try it and it worked.”

“You told the AI to make them think he was my two-year-old son?”

Her daughter shook her head and gave her a proud smile. “I made everyone outside us think he was always two-year-old!”

Linda’s jaw dropped.


“No Mrs. Pepper or Mr. Garth, or anyone else is going to pester us about it now,” Lily reasoned, sounding slightly defensive upon her mother’s reaction. “The Image AI changes the physical reality and the Chat AI what people think.”

“This is too big,” Linda insisted. “The world … This can easily have negative effects.”

“Which one?” Her daughter challenged her.




Mike stopped his bike as he reached the top of the slight rise, where the path ended in the walkway of the cul-de-sac and took a deep breath. This wasn’t easy, for he had only accelerated it since he had left school, driven by worries if Dave had made it home. With thus cellphone taken by Mr. Garth, there had been no way to contact him. Of course, he could have called Dave’s mother to ask, but why infect her with his worries? What if she had asked him how he could have left his best friend alone in such a situation?

As he slowly drove right to his friend’s house, the nagging worry became more intense. Had he made it home? He had been eight, when he had met Aaron in his mother’s store, so he had been for sure old enough to drive the distance …   Or had some danger stopped him on his way, maybe even the police taking him into custody? Or a kidnapper? Or … the wild images haunting Mike’s brain stopped instantly when he discovered his friend’s bike lying on the grass of the house next to his.

He made it!, the teenager felt his heart make a jump of relief. No way he let himself be stopped so close to home. Has he already reversed the program? I will knock and …

Mike blinked, momentarily confused. This was the wrong side of the cul-de-sac. What was he doing here? He had known it a second ago. It had felt so urgent … He looked at the bike and got it.

I saw it in the distance and wanted to check it out!, he told himself. Wonder who owns this and just lets it lie here.

Seeing no other kid around and not wanting to get home too late, Mike turned his bike around and began pedaling home, making plans for the evening.

Warp-Reality-AI!, he remembered. I wanted to check it out, because I was told about it by …

Mike couldn’t quite remember who told him about it or why it appeared so appealing in his mind. Yet, felt the strong urge to try out the changing photo program.

Why not, he thought, pedaling on, the name sounds like fun!




Linda needed a few deep breaths to digest the possible consequences of a tool capable of not only changing persons’ bodies, but also their minds … including that of the rest of the world. She still wasn’t at ease with it, or with her daughter being very much so, but told herself that everything was in control right now.

“At least it is over,” she declared with some relief. “We change your brother back. Mind, body and how the world remembers him.”

“Why?” Lily asked.

Linda didn’t believe she had heard right.


“Look at him,” her daughter pointed at her brother, now clearly two-year-old paid no attention to them and continued watching Thomas the Engine. “He is so happy! Is it wrong to leave him like this?”

“Yes!” Her mother insisted.

“Think about it! We could use the Image-AI to do everything we want. To get everything we want. To get younger, to start again. Do things again, but differently. I …” Lily stopped a moment, her words being calmer, but at the same time softer as she pushed up her glasses a bit and continued. “I haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since I learned of it.”

“Lily,” Linda tried. “We …”

“I don’t like my life, okay!” Her daughter interrupted her, her voice rawer this time. “I don’t like having my childhood stolen by years of bullying. I don’t like being harassed and sexualized by horny boys. This program is my chance to turn back the clock and get a second, better try at life.”

The teenager breathed heavily at this revelation. Her mother looked at her speechless for a moment, her eyes showing a mix of pain and compassion. Pieces she had somehow not connected, like how her daughter had shut herself in lately, had refused to do chores in the household she should have been old enough for or had practically begged for a stronger kind of affection normal for younger children, fell into place.

“And how young would this be for you?”

“I don’t know,” Lily admitted. “Six? Maybe four? No diapers, that for sure!”

After what seemed to be a long while Linda shook her head.

“No,” she decided. “You can’t run from your life. That is not how I raised you. I know it have been difficult years and I was always trying to support you, but this … no! You must fight on. There is so much worth fighting for.”

“You don’t know that!” Lily shouted at her mother.

“I do,” the adult explained firmly. “Besides, I don’t want to be a single mom with two young kids again at my age. This was hard enough the first time.”

“But …”


This came out sharper than Linda had intended, but her patience had grown thin after what they had already gone through today. She knew she should argue further, to reach her daughter somehow, as she felt it was something she should have talked with her about a long time ago … would have, had she known about Lily’s feelings. Yet, right now her other child needed her help more.

“We will speak later,” she promised warmer. “Now I have to help your brother get back to normal.”

Lily glared at her mother, as thus picked up Dave.




The toddler squirmed in protest about being pulled away from this great cartoon, all the way to his room, where she placed him on the floor.

“Hush,” she tried to calm him down. “Mommy has to work a bit to make you a big boy again … You remember being big?”

Dave looked at her uncomprehending, then furrowing his brows, something seemed to click in his small head.

“Big!” he said. “Me teenawer!”

Linda smiled at seeing that her son’s true self seemingly hadn’t vanished … maybe only too easily buried by all these exiting emotions of a toddler.

“Right,” she agreed, handing him his football lying on the cupboard next to him to keep him remembering. “Take this for a moment while I return everything to normal.”

With Dave staring at the much too large football in his hands, his mother sat down at his game station. She briefly checked the Image AI, finding its progress bar at 100 % and the image of her son just as she saw him right now. Then she switched to the Chat AI, reading their last chat.

Wouldn’t it thus be fine if Dave was thinking more like his age?

Yes, but …

As language-AI I’m glad to help!

Under it was another progress bar at 100 %.

Double strike … Linda thought. Oh Dave, I shouldn’t have let myself be distracted.

Silently cursing herself and her boss for having distracted her with his call, she briefly looked to her son, who curiously eyed the football and decided to fix his mind first, rather than having to deal with a toddler in the body of a teenager. She thought a while to get it right this time and not make things worse. After a couple of minutes writing versions down on a sheet of paper she believed she had made one being foolproof.

I made an error, can you reverse this change?

Of course.

Do it!!!

7 %, 15 %, 20 % …

Linda felt relieved upon seeing the progress bar appearing and quickly progressing. She turned around to look at Dave. Her son starred at the football with less and less curiosity as he tried to hold it professionally as she had seen him doing it so many time in practice. Yet, even when the memories of it returned, his muscle coordination did not, or at least it was no match for his reduced size, for the football it fell out of his tiny hands.

“This sucks!” He complained more to himself.

Either due to her relief or to such words coming from a two-year-old, Linda couldn’t control herself and laughed.

“Yes!” She commented, when her son looked up at her. “It sucks Dave, but not as much as before and I thank god for it.”

Her son looked up from his place on the floor, wrinkling his forehead.

“Mum, I …” he seemed to remember his modesty, as he suddenly pulled down his oversized shirt to cover his private parts. “What happened?!”

“You don't remember?”

“I remember watching cartoons and ...” Dave shook his head, a look of unbelief on his face. “What got into me?”

His mother pointed at the Word A.I. which still showed a progress bar.

“This!” She explained. “But don't worry, we will turn everything back to normal now.”




A return to what to her mother’s cherished normal was just what Lily planned to prevent. As Linda had been busy, carrying her squirming son up the stairs, her daughter had realized that maybe she had once chance left to change things to like they truly should be.

The moment her mother and brother were out of sight, she had followed them upstairs as silent and close behind as possible. She needed to use the Image and Text AI on a different computer while they were distracted. This would have been her own, but as a way to motivate her to leave her room more, her mother had confiscated it. Not to mention that it had been rather slow compared to Dave's cherished gamestation. Even if it had been still there, with her room next to that of her brother, entering it without her mother noticing would have been risky. Her mother's computer on the other hand …

Lily crept into her mother's room and sat down in front of the monitor. A movement with the mouse showed that her mother as usual hadn't bothered to shut it off. It demanded a password, which Lily knew to be her grandmother's birthday.


Password incorrect.


Password incorrect

Lily bit her lip in frustration. Had her mother changed it?


As answer the desktop appeared. Immediately Lily searched the web for the site with the A.I. and had it in under one minute. Yet, installing it here wouldn't do. She needed to outpace her mother with the changes, lest she was discovered by her and forced to undo them and this computer wasn't as fast as that of her brother. Luckily she knew that the one in her mother's company was. Using the login information her mother had written on a post it note placed under the mouse-pad, Lily activated the connection to the company and ordered the file to install there. For a moment she feared the company's firewall would block her, but it seemed they gave their employees quite a lot of freedom in these things, as the installation process began without hindrance and ended in no time.

Not knowing how fast her mother was with her changes, Lily went to the Chat AI and began tipping.

Make everyone think that I have always been four and Dave has always been two.

Her finger hovered over the enter button, when she realized her mistake. This way she would forget her past, too! Dave obviously was the happiest little toddler by forgetting his past, but she wanted to enjoy Kindergarten again, while remembering how amazing being four was compared to what came later. Also, she needed to be there mentally, in case something went wrong.

Make everyone outside my family think I have always been four and Dave has always been two.

Lily stopped again before pressing entering it. Her mother had to think it, too, or she would undo it and she would be in the deepest of trouble … and Dave. Their mother probably was already working on restoring his mind to his previous self and he would be just as negative about the changes she planned as their mother was. Best to ensure he could enjoy real innocence!

Make everyone but me thinks I have always been four, Dave has always been two … and mother 15 years younger!

Satisfied of having thought about her mother's objection of not being able to raise them again given her age, Lily pressed enter.

The text AI answered.

Of course!

The progress bar appeared.

1 % ... 5 % … 14 % ...

Lily smiled. It happened so much quicker than even on her brother's computer.

46 % … 67 % … Error!

Her smile froze, along with the progress bar and she read.

Different process underway contradicting order. Do you want me to continue this process despite possibly difference in results?

This other process had to be her mother just now trying to restore Dave's mind to teenager-modus. Deciding she always could deal with problems later, Lily clicked yes.

76 % … 84 % … 95 % … 100 % Process complete!

Lily's heart raced upon reading this. Had it really worked despite the problems? She wanted to race to her mother to check it out, but controlled herself. It wasn't just good enough to be seen as a four year old. Even with no one objecting she was too big for the real fun … images of her still as a teenager going down slides much too small and sitting on swings much too low came to her mind, surrounded by four-year-olds much too small for her to bound with, despite her wanting to. Also her mother …

Knowing her mother had to have terabytes of photos and videos stored on her hard-drive, Lily opened the partition, quickly went over them and found three recent ones with herself and her mother on it.

I don't smile on any of them, Lily realized suddenly feeling cold, only to make herself a promise. I will be the happiest four-year-old girl soon! For myself and mum …  mommy!

Smiling again she switched to the Image AI and uploaded the photos.

Turn the girl on this photo into a four year old and the woman fifteen years younger!

She stopped herself with her finger over mouse’s button, having noticed something on the pictures.

And have the girl never need glasses!

1 % … 2 % … 2,5 % …

The changes came slower this time, though Lily guessed still quicker than with her brother. She looked at her hands, half-expecting them to become smaller already, but as far as she could say they looked as always. Her glasses were still there. She checked the progress bar again.

3 % …

I can't wait such long!, she decided, jumping from the chair. Best I check on on mu … mommy!

With this she left the room.


To be continued …



End Chapter 2

The Power of AI

by: Ambrose | Complete Story | Last updated Feb 9, 2024


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