Chapter Description: The first elimination of the game takes place.
“Welcome back to The Mists of Time!” The host excitedly shouted.
“Last episode, we saw influencer sensation Jessica, relegated from Instagram model to diaper model!” He continued the recap. “We saw her give her teammates a crash course in child care! Lastly, we saw Stacey’s team reckon with the true consequences of the competition.”
“This week, we’ll watch the lead up to, and see the first Baby Shower, and see who the first member is of our nursery.”
“All this and more, this week in The Mists of Time”
The intro sequence started. Now, with added clips of Jessica’s regression and various other events through the first two episodes of the show.
The camera opened up on the idyllic scenes of team Stacey. Cliff was up and about while everyone else was either just waking up or still asleep. He seemed to be most responsible for taking care of the camp, gathering supplies while others mainly used them.
A few minutes pass, and then Cliff talks with Jason away from earshot of their other teammates.
“Seems like watching that girl have that done to her alerted y’all.” Cliff said in a half-whisper.
“Well, it was scary, watching them take it all away from her.” Jason said sheepishly, his demeanor at odds with his large muscular frame.
“Well she should be happy.” Cliff said. “She’s safe for this week. All she did was go from one type of cute to another, and she’s home free for this week.” He explained. “The rest of them over there are talking and getting angry at each other because of her. But all she can to do is s*** and piss herself, and she can’t say anything even if she wanted to!”
The two men laughed, quietly.
Cliff added “I’m sure you were thinking the same thing when you volunteered to go up there.”
Jason paused for a moment and said “Uh huh.” Obviously revealing to Cliff that he did not put that much thought into it.
“Listen.” Cliff got his attention. “There’s ways to play this for us to come out on top together. Stick with me, and we can both make it far.”
Jason nodded, liking the idea of this alliance.
The camera cut to Michael’s camp, and the familiar noise of a baby’s wail.
Three adults were standing around outside. Alec was still in his tent with Jessica.
Michael, James, and Nina were all standing around, clearly exhausted with large dark circles under their eyes.
Nina spoke to the confessional. “I knew that letting Alec take care of Jessica all night was going to be a disaster. We’re all very tired, but Alec continuing his incompetence is only going to help me long term.”
Alec emerged from the tent, Jessica in tow. He very apparently still did not know how to carry babies. He quickly set her down in the sand, her feet trying to keep balance for a moment before giving up and sitting with her tiny legs stretched out in front of her.
It seemed like he had quite a night with Jessica.
“Before the competition yesterday, I would’ve killed to have been up all night with Jessica.” Alec said exasperated.
His teammates responded with blank stares and eye rolls.
“Get it? Cause before-”
“We get it.” Michael interrupted. He dropped it. “So what happened last night?” Michael inquired.
“Well she s*** herself not long after we tried to go to bed. So that wasn’t great.”
James jumped in, “Can you hurry up and tell us? We don’t need the quips.”
“Oh my f***ing god!” He said, then stormed off into the woods, leaving the 3 adults and Jessica.
Jessica had calmed down over the course of the discussion, and was now mindlessly playing with some sand. She was going to taste some when Nina intervened.
As Nina picked up the baby, the three adults looked at each other and reached a silent understanding. Jessica was rather pre-occupied with staring at Nina’s relatively colossal body, and her boobs in particular.
Nina told Jessica, “They’re not able to do what you want them to do, honey.”
The producers had provided them with a few baby bottles and some formula, so Nina gave Jessica a bottle.
James observed “She stinks, but her diaper isn’t wet?”
Once Jessica was satisfied with her bottle, they took off her diaper and inspected.
The camera didn’t show anything but Jessica’s baby face, but the adults realized very quickly what the problem was.
Michael said “He barely even cleaned her up.” They all agreed. “Alright, keep the diaper off of her, I’ll take her in the ocean and that should get rid of most of this.”
He took the baby down to the ocean to get her cleaned off. As they went into the waves Jessica was as happy as anyone had seen her, before or after the age change. Cooing and giggling, it made Michael content to see her so sweet and innocent.
The scene returned to Cliff, this time completely alone in woods, gathering supplies as he usually does. The tall trees shaded a lot of the undergrowth, so the plants didn’t grow too high, and it provided a nice cool relief from the hot tropical environment.
He found as many dead, dry branches as he could, as they would make the best kindling. He was careful to avoid the few bits of mud from the frequent tropical rains, as he only possessed the one pair of shoes. He scoured every foot of the forest floor to find as much as he could.
As he worked through piles of branches, he discovered something much more deliberate than any part of the natural foliage around him.
A wooden totem, in the shape of some sort of short and squat god. He flipped it over and inspected it.
In a crude carving the totem read ‘The Amulet of Lazarus’.
The camera pulled back and the host began explaining.
“The Amulet of Lazarus is an artifact that grants great power in this game. This allows the bearer to select a contestant on ANY team and reduce their age to ANY age they want.”
This was explained to players before the game, and Cliff knew exactly what this meant and smiled.
The host added, “The amulet can be played following the conclusion of a Baby Shower or a competition, regardless of the team up for elimination. An important thing to consider, is that any contestant reduced to an age below 16, is immune to elimination for the week.”
Cliff looked around to make sure no contestant was nearby, and slipped it into his back pocket.
He talked to the confessional. “Going out to gather supplies is good not only because it’s valuable to the team, but I can go out and find little beauties like this.” He held up the amulet.
Back at camp, Stacey, Chelsea, and Julie were having a discussion.
“I think Cliff and Jason are a little too close.” Chelsea whispered.
“I see what you mean.” Stacey responded. “Them going off and talking alone this morning was suspicious.”
Julie added, “I think we should just keep an eye on it. None of us are getting eliminated this week, so there’s nothing to plot right now. If we do come up for elimination, I think we might either have to talk to them or work out something on our own.”
Neither of the other women were expecting Julie to come in with that much strategy, but they did agree.
Stacey added, “The whole world is a big boys old boys club, but here we can some something about that.”
With that, the sun set and the day ended. The days in-between the competition and the Baby Shower went quickly, at least for the team that didn’t have a baby with them.
Cliff had put himself in a great position, with a de facto immunity charm to be played for the next week, and a lot of strategy to think about.
The women of Stacey’s camp had identified a potential alliance forming under their noses, and had their eyes out for any plays.
Michael’s camp on the other hand, was straightforward. Caring for the aryan dream child, with her blue eyes and blonde hair, hair clearly shown the weakness of the team as it existed.
Alec attempted to reconcile with the other team members, realizing he held none of the cards and was potentially outvoted 3-1. He changed a few diapers and became better at it, but still couldn’t contribute in a way to prove his value. He continued to try and care for Jessica over the nights, none were as disastrous as the very first night, but every night was just as sleepless.
As the day grew nearer, they stared at baby Jessica, who on her good days could’ve been on the side of a diaper box or a Gerber baby, and counted down the minutes until she would be a just as self absorbed influencer again. She would probably cry and whine just as much, but at least she could deal with it herself. The days of watching the yellow line next to the Sesame Street character’s face become blue had taken it’s toll on everyone, Jessica seemingly notwithstanding.
Michael proceeded with his calm and balanced approach, managing to keep James close by without having to establish anything formal that could make him appear underhanded. His calmness may have been annoying if he wasn’t so capable.
Nina made up in the camp for what she lacked on the competitive field. She had become Jessica’s de facto camp mother, while they didn’t saddle Alec with her. She was happy to fulfill this role, although she was certain that she could play this to her advantage in the long run.
The host came back in voice over. “The night of the Baby Shower is rapidly approaching! Who will be going home? Will it be James… Nina… or Alec? How will Cliff use his idol of Lazarus? All your questions will be answered, right after these messages!”
This fall on ARBC is a new prank show!
“Parent’d is a way for teens to get back at their parents for telling them they can’t go to a party, or for making their bed!”
The then cuts to show a large house in middle American suburbia. A large SUV is parked in the garage.
It then cuts to a video of a teen, Braxton, explaining why he wants to be on the show.
“My parents are totally killing my vibe recently. There was a girl I was rizzing up but at school, and we’re finally going out, but my parents won’t let me have her over at all! Plus they set a curfew for me to be back by 11:30 on weekends! That’s way too early to have any fun!”
The camera crew was now at this boys house. They had secret cameras set up all around the house. His mother comes in the front door carrying two large grocery bags and sets them on the kitchen counter. She has long brown hair and is on the wrong side of 40, but is still attractive.
“Hey mom! Come up here!” You hear the boy shout from upstairs.
“Alright.” She says, her heels making an audible noise with each step against the hardwood floors.
The boy is in a large room, what appears to have been a master bedroom, but the king bed and furniture is replaced with two cribs and all kinds of baby supplies and toys. You can hear his mother’s shoes coming up the stairs.
The noise stops. “Where are you?” She said, expecting to see him in his room.
“I’m in your room!”
She walks over and steps inside.
“Wow! You got all your baby stuff from the basement?” She said. “Wait, what did you do with all our stuff? I thought we sold most of your old stuff too?”
Before she could continue her line of questioning, he put his hand on the back of her neck and said some excuse. But, he had put a patch on her neck that had the logo of the show on it.
Her mind seemed to stop. The patch had instant effect, the wrinkles on her face began to be ironed out, and she returned to her mid-30s.
“Whoa.” She got out, her body feeling different, better. The world still looked the same to her.
It seemed like a blessing, the aches and pains were going away, and she felt better. The camera seemed to reflect that as well, she smiled. She no longer seemed to be taking in the nursery in front of her, lost in her own world.
The changes seemed to stagnate for a bit, but then it really took hold. She soon exited her 20s, her face becoming more youthful and less mature. The hard lines of her cheeks and eyes turning into soft features. She was a high school senior, she could’ve been her son’s sister. Then she was a freshman, her head beginning to dip far below his. Her shoes becoming untenably large on her small feet. As she was exiting middle school her eyes began to well up.
Her blazer was now much larger than her entire body. Her clothing now looked more like a parachute than anything she could have realistically worn.
The third grade girl now had tears running down her eyes. The teenager smiled and looked off camera.
He was reminded and quickly threw in a “Oh while you can still understand me, you just got Parent’d!”
The girl was now looking way up at her son.
She looked like she was too young to go to Kindergarten now. It was almost over.
If her features were softening as she grew younger, her features liquified here. Most resemblance to her adult self was no longer there. Her eyes were distinctly the same, though through the tears it was harder to see them.
She was a toddler before long, and balancing on high heels is tough normally, it made the toddler spill over onto her butt, softened by her now extremely large pile of clothing.
The patch wasn’t done though, and even though the toddler could no longer walk, she somehow continued her way down.
The boy retrieved his mother from her clothes, she couldn’t be more than 9 months old, her brown hair now barely touching the top of her ears.
“How are you feeling mom?” The infant continued to cry.
There was a hard cut. It was now dark out. There was a car door closing outside. Now, the boys father walked in. There was no greeting, and the house was almost completely silent.
He went upstairs to drop his work supplies off in the bedroom, only to discover almost the same scene that his wife had earlier.
“What the hell?” The middle age man said.
He saw something in one of the cribs and walked over. It was a small baby, wearing a onesie that read “Daddy’s little girl.” The way she looked reminded him of his son when he was a baby. He looked to his right and saw a picture of his wife on a windowsill. He looked back at the baby.
“Oh my god!” He said recoiling.
His son patted him on the neck from behind. The process began once more. The man tumbled back through the years. His head that towered over the bars of the crib was now receding and fast. Even though he was on the outside, it looked less like a crib and more like a prison.
“You just got Parent’d!” Were the last words he could make out.
Another 9 month old was retrieved from another pile of no longed needed clothes. He was crying relentlessly, just like his wife. He was diapered and laid down in the other crib.
The camera focused on the two small children in their cribs, staring at their son turned father. The girl was now considerably calm, as she had a few hours to adjust to her new reality. The boy was still red faced and crying, his tiny pudgy hands wrapped around the bars as if he could bend them in any way.
The mother stared big-eyed at he boy who was now 14 years her senior. There was not a hint of understanding behind either of the children’s eyes. Their knowledge at the moment matched their age, as much research into adults turned into children has shown. Their son was talking, though there was no chance of them understanding. He held a device that they had purchased for him, but they had no knowledge of.
The boy was calling his girlfriend.
“It worked!” He was saying. “Come over now and check it out!”
Soon, the teenage girl was over.
“They’re both so small and adorable!” She said.
“Yup. They’ll be like this for the next month.” He said.
He picked up his mother, and his girlfriend was carrying his dad. They couldn’t help themselves and began making out. This intensified the anger from the two babies, but the babies themselves weren’t sure why.
The boy felt his mother’s diaper firm up through her onesie, and it seems like his father had a similar reaction. The two lovebirds shared one more kiss, and then took their turns changing the tykes.
“Tune in to Parent’d at 6:30 every Monday night! Sick of your parents? DM us a video on Twitter and maybe you and your parents might be on the show next!”
The show returned from the ad break.
The host was standing among a strange assortment of furniture. One section had 5 tree stump shaped seats, the other had 4, and one high chair. All these were facing toward another strange collection of objects. There was a podium front and center, along with a ballot box. Off to the left, was a large white screen that was backlit, and to the right of a stage was a crib.
The host began. “Welcome to our first Baby Shower of the season. Michael’s team is up for elimination tonight. Out of the five members of team Michael only three are eligible to be eliminated. James, Nina, or Alec. Michael will be allowed to vote, Jessica cannot, as she is under the age of 16.” He paused. “and she also doesn’t know how to read, write, or speak at the moment.” he added quickly.
“Stacey’s team will be in attendance as well.”
“As a reminder, Jessica will be returned to her original age at the conclusion of the Baby Shower. Whoever is eliminated will be irreversibly made into a baby. They will grow up again, but they will not be able to be re-aged by any means. Any other complications will be explained as they happen.”
“With that out of the way, let us summon our contestants to the Baby Shower!”
At Stacey’s camp, they were sitting around, waiting for the summons to the shower.
“We haven’t seen them for a week.” Chelsea said.
“I wonder how their time with the baby has treated them. This past week has been pretty good for us overall.”
Stacey responded “All I know is that one of them is going to the nursery, and we’re not, so we should savor this.”
Everyone nodded in agreement.
In the distance they heard the sound of a music box version of Rock-a-bye-baby, and they knew that was the signal to head to the vote. As the rest of the team took the lead, Cliff retrieved the amulet and slipped it into his pocket.
Back at Michael’s camp, Nina was holding Jessica against her chest, carefully bouncing up and down as she did it. She was supporting the girl with her hand under her diaper, and Jessica’s head was comfortable against Nina’s chest. The two had clearly bonded during Jessica’s week long babyhood.
James talked to Alec.
“I just gave her a diaper change.” Alec said, clearly having adapted more. “Probably her last one.” He waited a beat. “For a week or so.”
James laughed, “That just may be.”
Michael emerged from his tent.
“It’s almost time.” He announced. “Whatever happens, I just want you guys to know that I think we did great this week with Jessica. Learning how to change diapers and long sleepless nights, and we survived.” They nodded in agreement. Jessica had perked her blonde head up to see what the noise was.
“One of us won’t be coming back unfortunately. But I’m happy that it won’t be an easy thing to go through.”
To punctuate the end of his speech the Rock-a-bye-baby tune began in the distance, and they all began to head off.
The teams arrived at the voting area at the same time.
Stacey’s team took their seats pretty quickly.
The three men of Michael’s team also sat down. Nina put Jessica into the elevated chair and strapped her in.
“Aww” Chelsea and Julie said in chorus, not having seen Jessica since she was turned into a baby several days ago.
“She’s so cuuuuute!” Chelsea said, as Jessica was being strapped in.
“I know! Between her little blonde hair-do and her bulky diaper!” Julie added.
Nina responded. “It’s a lot less cute when she’s crying or needs to be changed, let me tell you!”
Soon, the teams were settled down. Nine adults and one baby were coming in, who knows what was coming out.
The host took his place behind the podium and began. “Welcome to the first Mists of Time Baby Shower!” He shouted. “We will commence voting.” Michael, Alec, James, and Nina were handed pieces of paper. They all quickly wrote and then dropped them in the ballot box.
“There was not a long period of deliberation.” The host commented.
Jessica banged her hands on her plastic chair. “Ba-ba-ba-ba” she babbled.
“I see Jessica has a lot on her mind.” The host joked, which the contestants all found funny as well.
“We’ll begin to count the votes.”
Three members of the team were very calm. One was fidgety and rubbing his hands together.
The host opened the box and began opening the ballots.
“One vote for Alec.” He said holding it up. Written in big letters, ALEC, the ballot was shown to the audience.
You could see sweat forming at the base of his short brown hair.
“Two votes for Alec”
The best he could hope for now was a tie. The mic picked up a word from Alec. “F***” he muttered.
“One for Nina. Two for Alec, One for Nina” That cut the tension a bit. But not for long.
“The last ballot…” The host paused for tension.
“Alec, you have been voted off.”
His face was buried in his hands.
“No…” his voice creaked, knowing that his life as it existed was over.
“Alec please step behind the screen.”
“No…” he said again, beginning to choke up with tears.
The host said authoritatively, “You must get behind the screen, if you won’t go we will physically compel you to.”
Michael quickly and quietly comforted the man.
Whispering, “You gotta go, I’m sorry. Once you go behind the screen you can cry all you want, for as long as you want, and nobody is going to judge you.”
Michael patted Alec on the back, and he began to shuffle toward the screen, taking his last steps for some time.
As Alec walked behind, hiccuping tiny cries that he was trying to conceal, his likeness was turned into a backlit silhouette against the sheet. The outline of a clearly defeated man could be seen.
Moments after he stopped behind the screen, the misters started.
Silhouette-wise, nothing changed for a few moments. He became slightly skinner, but was the same height. He was more active when he was in his early 20s apparently. The subdued crying continued. His frame began to shrink, his shoulders less broad. His height began to go down a few inches. He was probably a young college student at this point, or an old high schooler. Bigger changes started to suggest he was heading to his mid to early teens. His height and frame continued to dissipate.
The crowd looked on, the novelty should have worn out after watching Jessica shrink in a similar fashion. But it hadn’t, this was more visceral and real. Permanent. Jessica for her part seemed to be the only one having a good time. As this transpired, she was once again banging her high chair with her pudgy baby fists.
The camera cut back to the silhouette, now devoid of context as to what the silhouette looked like before. By now, he was decidedly more a boy than a man, and continuing to fade. As he entered middle school age once more the height dissipated quickly now. Sharply dropping from around 5’8 to moments later being 4 and a half feet tall. The silhouette was decidedly a child now.
The crying became much less concealed over the course of this process. It still wasn’t a full wail but the pitch had certainly gone up a few octaves and was much more noticeable. The clothes that once fit his body were all encompassing. His drastically shrunken shoulders were almost small enough to fit through the neck hole of his shirt.
The child on the other side could now no longer be more than 3 or 4 years old, and continuing to drop. The small head began to bob left and right, the memory beginning to disappear from his head, and the small amounts of muscle disappearing from his leg. His balance was fighting a battle it was fated to lose.
The cries were high pitched and childish, now not remotely concealed. But still, he sounded like a child. But the time was up for his balance, and he fell over onto his bottom the few feet of height that remained.
From here, Alec’s situation devolved rapidly. The cries grew to an unbelievably high pitch, the source of them completely unaware as to why they were crying, but certainly in no hurry to stop.
By now, the silhouette was not producing much more information beyond the piles of clothes now situated at the bottom of it. The wail was now constant annoying shrieking.
The mists still continued for some time after Alec had disappeared into his clothes.
Eventually, they were stopped. Everything was dead silent except for the wails of a baby.
The camera held on the black and white clothes for some time, while the mist dissipated. Then the host proceeded behind the shade to retrieve what was left of Alec.
The host moved the clothes around for a moment, then got a grip on the little noisemaker and hoisted him into the air. The silhouette was tiny. Much smaller than Jessica the audience realized, looking at the almost toddler, then back at the screen.
Somewhere behind the screen, it also seemed like the host was affixing a diaper to Alec, as broadcast standards would rather not have a naked person, no matter the age, going out over the airwaves.
The host stepped out from behind the cover, revealing that Alec was certainly nowhere near to being a toddler, decidedly an infant. He was now 4 months old, the screen informed the viewing public. He was crying with a terrible amount of conviction, though his reasoning was long lost to him. His desires were now significantly more simple, and he would be calm soon enough.
The infant that was being held looked almost nothing like the man that entered behind the curtain. The baby’s limbs were tiny and pudgy with baby fat. The head was bald save for the suggestion of some small hairs there. The only thing recognizable about him was his eyes, as those are relatively constant across someones life.
After some meek comforting from the host, Alec was then laid down in the crib next to the podium. No longer possessing the muscles in his neck that allow him to move his head, Alec laid on his back, continuing his crying.
There was little cooing over the new baby, each contestant keenly aware the same fate awaited 90% of them, each contestant short of Jessica for the moment. Lacking the ability to read the room, the toddler girl was expressing the same joy she was bereft of days ago when her current situation had befallen her. Maybe she was shocked to see a person younger than she was? She could have been excited to see her most incompetent caretaker reduced to an even more helpless state than herself.
The two children were currently only separated by 8 months. For an adult, 8 months of age difference is nothing. Alec would have to grow through a period of time that to his readjusted from of reference, may as well be an eternity. But there was still something left for Jessica that Alec no longer had.
“Alright!” The host shouted, snapping the crowd out of their daze. He was unaffected by the change that happened it appeared.
“It’s time we let little Jessica go and bring back big Jessica!” The host gestured to the toddler. “Nina if you would be so kind to bring her behind the shade.”
Nina stood up calmly and deliberately. She leaned over the chair and unbuckled the plastic device on top of Jessica’s diaper that kept her restrained by the shoulders into the chair. She picked up the toddler and could tell in the excitement that she had used her disposable underpants as they had been intended.
“I think she needs to be changed.” Nina voiced her concern to the host.
The host inquired, “Is it pee or…?”
Nina pulled the back of the diaper and checked, as she had become used to over the week.
“Looks like it’s just pee.” She said.
“That’s fine then, just set her down back there.”
Nina continued bringing Jessica up behind the screen. All the vestiges of Alec’s adulthood had been cleared away.
The host instructed “After you set her down, undo the front tabs of the diaper, so it doesn’t rip.”
Nina set the girl down on the floor, facing toward the screen so the light of the projector didn’t hurt her eyes. Her legs were stretched out in a V-shape, not strong enough to stand on her own. She tugged on the front tabs that secured the currently wet diaper to the girl, and they came loose. Jessica sat still enough where it still stayed on, and Nina left the girl. Jessica had her arms outstretched like she wanted Nina to come back, but Nina blew a gentle kiss and waved.
“Now let’s take this thing the other way!” The host said, as the mists began again.
The changes were even more immediately apparent going this direction. The short blonde hair that the young toddler had almost immediately began to grow, now running down her shoulders and chest. Her chest grew taller and her arms longer. She was 2, and the diaper below her was much smaller than she was now. Soon enough the silhouette was of a young girl. The changes in height were harder to see, as she continued to sit with her legs spread out in front of her.
She entered elementary school again, and her torso continued to stretch upwards, along with her easily visible arms. The whole ordeal was a growth spurt in a way, but her body began to change from that of a child to a teenager. Obscured by the screen, she progressed her way through puberty for a second time. Her flat chest clearly becoming more and more womanly with each passing moment. Soon she was 18, only 5 more years left to go in her journey upwards. The changes became less pronounced at this point, her growth in height had stopped and the changed became more subtle, obscured by the screen.
The misting stopped.
“Alright Jessica, you can get up and put on your adult clothes.” The host said, looking away to preserve her modesty.
She shook her head violently, like she was waking herself up.
Jessica spoke. “I think when you’re an adult they’re just called clothes.”
The shadow stood up, dwarfing the baby that was in the same place mere moments ago. She looked down at the unstrapped diaper that was sitting below her and let out a small laugh.
She put on her clothes that had been left next to the changing table that had been used for Alec.
She stepped out from behind the screen, a woman grown. Her teammates looked on as almost bewildered parents, they had known her for longer as a toddler than an adult.
“Is this seat taken?” Jessica asked about the remaining stump that had been Alec’s.
“No.” James responded, gesturing to the crying infant Alec in the crib.
“Oh.” She said. “I think we have a lot to talk about.”
The host restarted the events. “With that, I believe all of our tasks are concluded.”
Stacey’s group was the first to go, none of the events of the night have effected their team, but certainly having an effect on their psyche going forward.
Michael’s team got up. Jessica stumbled a little bit, as if she were wearing high heels. She balanced herself on her plastic high chair.
“A little out of practice?” James joked.
“Apparently.” She said back.
They stopped at the crib on the way out, to inspect their former teammate. He had calmed a bit since the shock of his regression, but was still teary.
“Was I that small?” Jessica asked, like a child asking about a younger sibling.
“Not quite.” Nina said. “Well, at one point you were, but not recently.”
Nina, Michael, and James left pretty quickly, not sparing much sympathy for their teammate, now that it wouldn’t help him any.
Jessica hung around for a bit leaning on the edge of the crib.
She spoke in a confessional. “I don’t remember much about being a baby. Bits and pieces. I remember all my teammates being huge. I remember parts of becoming younger. I remember a lot about Alec being a bad pa- babysitter.” She corrected herself. “I picture myself, in what feels like normal size. I’m in a giant bed with huge walls, wearing thick underwear that is warm and comfortable. I try to tell him, but he reacts strangely. He comes over and is giant, which startles me. My reaction gets stronger. Now I want to cry, but I had been crying the whole time.” She’s staring off into space, looking a thousand yards past the camera. “He takes off my underwear, and tries to help me get clean, but it ends up worse. Some sticky stuff gets on my hair. He put a new pair of underwear on me, which is calming.” She looks at her hands. “I thought my hand looked interesting so I sucked that until I went to sleep.”
Her confessional ends, she’s still looking at Alec in his crib. He was changing her only an hour ago, and now the baby shoe is firmly on the other foot. She stuck her tongue out at the infant. He didn’t react, the childish gloating gesture was now too mature for the baby to comprehend. She left to get caught up to her team.
The show cut to a graphic, with a picture of adult Alec on it. It read: Alec, 25, Born 1998, Programmer.
The picture and the text was then replaced. The picture was that of an infant, exceedingly different from the man who was previously pictured. The text was changed. It still read Alec, but the rest reflected his new status. Alec, 4 months, Born 2023, infant.