I RUBBED MY eyes as I woke up in my crib in Caireen’s castle. I felt sore as I pushed myself to my feet, and discovered my diaper was already messy. I gave into my inner infant and began crying for Caireen. Fortunately, she didn’t make me wait long before she gathered me into her arms and hugged me. “Shh…” she bounced me gently in her arms as she walked to the changing table and laid me down. My nightgown was pulled off over my head and she pulled down the cover on the destroyed cloth diaper. The pins were removed and she soon had my butt suspended in the air as she wiped everything clean.
She cooed at me as she did so, and I was soon in a fresh diaper and a dress. Caireen carried me over to the rocking chair. She hummed a tune as she pulled the bodice of her dress away from her breast. I looked hungrily at her nipple and realized how much I was missing Hannah! I latched on and nursed, was burped, switched, and burped again in the routine that had become normal for me.
“Better?” She asked me as she sat me on her knee.
I shrugged, “I guess…”
“Why don’t we take the morning and just have you play like a normal little girl,” she told me.
I had a thought, “Could I play in my treehouse?”
She looked thoughtfully for a moment, “That’s probably not a good idea Princess, let’s stay inside the castle until we get through with the crisis?”
I pouted but nodded. She sat me down on the floor next to my toys and I began playing with Emie and a couple of other dolls. I could now do way more than change their clothes! I adjusted some of their faces and eyes to make them more lifelike, before having a tea party with them. It was nice to not be stressed about the outside world for a while, and I totally missed when I messed my diaper again until Caireen gathered me up and changed me.
“Time for lunch, and then we have a meeting and some more training to do,” she told me.
I sighed as she wiped me, ‘A week ago I’d probably have given anything to not be playing like a baby… right now I’d settle for getting all day to play with Lily.’
I felt sad as she carried me downstairs. It was sobering as I realized just how much I missed my family, Hannah, and ‘normal’ life. She squeezed me tight as she carried me into a formal dining room that we rarely used. Sitting around the table were her generals and a few strangers to me. They all rose and gave low bows or curtseys as she walked to her seat. I was set down in my ornate highchair that had been placed next to her seat. I noted that unlike modern highchairs there were no safety straps to hold me in! It was plushily padded though, and I liked the comfortable me-sized seat as she pushed me closer to use the table for my food.
She sat down in her own chair and said, “Please, be seated…”
I had grown so accustomed to eating baby food or nursing from her most of the time in her world, that it was a real novelty to just have small portions of the grown-up dishes here. I learned that there were several Dukes and their Duchess wives that had arrived in the last couple of days. They were all retreating from their lands before Camulus could attack. Caireen had given the order a day ago that we had to consolidate here at the castle if we were to have a chance to take on his forces. It was clear they were not pleased about it, but it was also equally clear that they knew their survival dictated that decision.
“How go the fortifications on the south side?” Caireen asked one of her generals.
“Slowly, but surely. We have plenty of manpower, but quarrying the stone we need is taking more time than I fear we have.”
I looked up at Caireen and tugged on her sleeve. She leaned her head down, “Can I help with magic somehow?”
She smiled and patted me on the head, “That wasn’t supposed to be your lesson for today, but it would be a good one!”
The Generals had gotten used to me not following the ‘children must be seen, not heard,’ mantra of their culture. The three Duchesses down the table however seemed scandalized that I would dare speak at the table.
Caireen glared at them when one whispered, “Why does she have the babe here anyway? She’s not even weaned yet!” Made it to the front of the table.
“Because I am the Crown Princess,” I found myself opening my mouth. “I have every right to be here! It’s my fate that brought about King Camulus being a fool and attacking us.”
Caireen patted my head, “My daughter is of course correct. She has the right to be here Duchess O’Cleirigh.” She stared her down, “You however are not necessary if you continue to display the poor manners you accuse my daughter of!” I glared at the Duchess in question and she looked away. Another one way down the table smirked at the rebuke, and I wondered if she might be a better person to talk to at some point. She looked younger, barely out of her teens herself, but I noted her husband was probably close to my parents age. I turned my gaze back to Caireen who looked at the generals, “Princess Sofia and I will come and assist you this afternoon as part of her instruction.”
“Your Majesty, it may not be safe out of the castle walls…”
“Can’t be any worse than what I’ve faced within…” I meant to say inside my head, but my tongue slipped.
“Sofia!” Caireen rebuked me.
“Sorry,” I told her.
She sighed, “I think we’ll be fine if it’s today. Please ensure we have an entourage of guards that can protect us. I hope we can make some headway on fortifications to at least slow their army down. If we can cause them to break their forces on a wall for a bit, and pick off some of them, we may yet hold them off.”
“Yes, Your Majesty,” the general said. He waived an aide to come over and gave some orders to prepare our guards.
I nibbled on a small piece of a cake slice that had been brought out as Caireen continued to discuss the upcoming war. After a final look around the table she told the generals, “We’ll depart in a half-hour, I need to see to Princess Sofia first.”
She stood and picked me up, and everyone else stood and waited patiently as she carried me out. A trip to my nursery was quickly made and the soaked diaper was removed before she said, “Do you have any room in your tummy still?”
I looked at her and nodded.
“Let’s feed you some proper milk then and we’ll get going…”
She nursed me from her breasts and again I felt the comfort in the act that had once just been embarrassing. ‘I really miss Hannah…’ I thought again. ‘I’ll never complain about nursing from her again!’
When I was done, she made sure there was a bag packed with some changes for me, before we exited the castle. Outside troops were on horseback. She handed me to a woman and then hopped onto a horse herself. I was kind of surprised that she wasn’t riding side saddle to protect her modesty, but didn’t say anything as I was handed up to her and placed in front of her.
I felt my eyes widen at the gigantic beast below me and grabbed on tight to the edge of the saddle in front of me as Caireen set the horse into motion slowly, and then at a full gallop! After a while my terror became glee and I decided it was kind of fun! We soon stopped at an area where men were trying to build a wall with earth and boulders across the road to the castle.
Her top-ranking general took me from her and set me on the ground as I looked around at probably a thousand men and boys working on building the wall. I felt a bit of a twist in my stomach in the hopes that these were all volunteers…
“Your Majesty, what is your plan here?” The general asked as she stood next to me.
“Give us a few minutes and you’ll see. Go ahead and clear the workers back and to this side of the barricade.”
“Yes, Your Majesty,” he said and gave orders to some officers who spread the order.
“So, this will be your lesson today,” Caireen told me, kneeling down beside me. “You can still feel the main ley line, right?”
I nodded, “Yes?”
“Good, you’ll need all of that essence available! Now…” she gave me an explanation and a lesson for thirty minutes on the principle that would let me magically create a solid barrier. She had me not only visualize the barrier, but also a gateway that could be solidly closed when needed as well. With all of that in mind she said, “Go ahead and try Sofia.”
Thinking back to a certain green character about ‘size matters not,’ I looked at the earth in front of me and visualized how to bring up from the ground beneath. Moments later the ground literally began shaking as a fifty-foot thick wall of black granite rose in a line from the edge of the valley, upwards one-hundred-and-fifty feet. To divert the river that ran through the valley, I visualized a complex culvert that went down into the ground sixty feet, wound around, and then finally rejoined the waterway on the other side. It would create a small pond too that might help if we needed a water supply. It wouldn’t dangerously flood, but it would keep anyone from swimming upstream through it and getting to this side. I carefully made grates and other covers that didn’t impede the water, but could discourage anyone from sending a bomb or something like that through it to this side.
I took care to visualize a gate of a solid piece of granite that would drop with the simple pull of a lever to completely seal off the entrance. A traditional wooden door and metal gate were added just for extra aesthetic points in my mind. At the top of the long wall I visualized five separate towers that could be used to spot the enemy and placed embrasures all along the wall to protect our archers. Staircases were placed strategically at points for men to climb and retreat from the wall as needed.
Just for good measure I added a sign that no one could see from our side that said, Come and Take It! I thought it was an appropriate saying to borrow from Texas.
Just then I felt my strength wane and stumbled to the ground, but Caireen caught me. Every one of the men and boys around me stood in shock for a moment, before they all knelt and bowed their heads. I found myself waving at them as Caireen told the General, “She should be able to do the other side of the valley tomorrow. After that we’ll see if she has any other ideas.”
“My word… She did that by herself?” I looked at him staring at me in awe.
She hugged me, “Yep, my baby girl is a lot more capable than she may seem.”
Caireen carried me over to some shade and laid out a blanket. I was at that point just tired and exhausted enough I couldn’t hardly keep my eyes open. “Let’s get you changed, fed, and then I think that’s probably about all your pretty little eyes will stay open for today!”
I numbly nodded with a feeling of pride of what I had accomplished. The castle sat in a valley with steep cliffs around it, and the only approach was the road from the north or the south that followed the valley the river had carved out. I sat still as she changed a very stinky diaper. ‘I must have done that with all of the effort?’ I wondered. I mentally shrugged though, I had no control and it wasn’t something to dwell on.
Caireen was soon exposing her breasts to me again and I gulped not only the milk, but the extra essence she shared with me in those moments. Soon I fell blissfully asleep!
THE NEXT THING I knew I heard noise around the room. Camille’s mom was working on her hair and noticed that I sat up in bed next to the still sleeping Camille. She walked over to me and picked me up, “Ready to wake up?” she whispered to me as I noted the sounds of the shower going.
I shrugged in response as she felt the diaper underneath my nightgown. “Why don’t we change that wet diapee and see if you want to stay awake or not?”
I nodded and watched as she grabbed my backpack. She looked inside and shook her head seeing the larger compartments. She pulled out one of my diapers, my wipes, and the changing pad and laid it all out on top of a large dresser. She picked me up and lay me down on the pad. I could tell she’d had plenty of recent practice with diapers as she quickly, but gently changed the wet diaper. “You want to go back to bed?” she asked me.
I shook my head, “Maybe I can look at my homework…? I figure the cat’s out of the bag with me not being a baby with Cassidy now?”
She softly giggled, “Sort of… but you’re right, no point in you pretending to be a normal baby right now where we’re staying.”
I nodded and let her set me down on the couch that was in the living room area. She placed my backpack next to me and I dug inside for my Mystic Concepts book and placed it next to me. I saw my phone in the front pocket and pulled it out to find dozens of worried messages from Hannah and my parents. I felt guilty and looked at the time. It was still a bit early for Hannah, but I sent her a message to see if she was up. My parents were probably up, but I didn’t want to wake Cassidy by talking on the phone with them quite yet. It was also early enough I knew they were probably both just getting around. Mom was probably enjoying a quiet cup of coffee before Lily woke up.
I sighed, feeling more and more homesick about my family back home as the phone lit and showed a reply from Hannah.
‘OMG, are you okay?!?’ Hannah asked me.
‘Yes, I think my body healed overnight.’
Dots showed her typing and I waited for her response, ‘What exactly happened? The news said that there was an explosion…?’
I spent the next ten minutes texting her back and forth while also trying to study some. The crazy memory I had now actually meant I had accomplished some studying before Camille’s dad came out of the shower and her mom asked me, “Sofia, do you want a shower? Or a bath?”
I looked at my body and felt some stiffness still. My hair felt kind of off too, so I nodded.
I knew what teenage me would say, but I found myself saying, “A bath please?”
“Okay, give me a few minutes and I’ll run the water for you,” she said with a smile.
“Thanks,” I told her.
She came out for me a moment later and I saw the bathtub had some bubbles in it. She pulled my diaper and nightgown off before gently setting me inside. I watched her look torn, “What’s wrong?”
“Umm… I know in my mind that you’re a teenager like my daughter…”
“But I’m also a baby?”
She nodded, “Should I go ahead and wash you?”
I shrugged, “I don’t mind if you want to. It’s up to you though, I can handle it myself if you would prefer I do so.”
I felt Caireen nudge a bit against that option, but I didn’t want her mom uncomfortable. “I would actually,” she said, “sorry… it would make me feel more comfortable to give you the bath?”
I smiled, “That’s fine, I’m used to it at this point. I haven’t had a bath on my own since I mutated.”
Camille’s mom was gentle as she washed me from head to toe. Even though my hair had been washed the other day, she found some remnants of the exploded dinner last night and scrubbed my hair with baby shampoo twice. As she was doing so I felt tears prickle at my eyes.
“Oh Sofia, what’s wrong? This is no tear shampoo?” She asked nervously.
I shook my head and wondered what was wrong before I found myself saying, “I miss my mommy…”
Somehow my baby brain tripped and I began crying uncontrollably then as she pulled me from the water and swaddled me in a towel. She bounced and cooed at me for a long while before taking me out to the main room. I could see through my tear-filled eyes that Camille was sitting up in bed. “Camille, would you get her a baba?”
She looked startled but nodded and soon I was propped in the crook of Camille’s mom’s arm with her holding a warm bottle of milk to my lips. I didn’t hesitate and began quickly nursing it. Somehow Hannah’s milk made me feel like she was there and I began feeling better as I began sucking at the empty bottle. “Do you need another one?” her mom asked me.
I thought for a moment before nodding, “Please?”
Luckily Camille hadn’t yet gotten in the bathroom yet so she presented her mom with another bottle and took the empty one. I nursed at the second one much slower, feeling each pull of milk making me calmer. At some point I must have dozed off.
I MUST NOT have been out long, but I slept through being dressed in an embarrassingly cute dress that said ‘gobble gobble’ with a turkey on the front of it. I had a pair of thick white tights covering my legs and diaper. Camille saw me sit up from where she was looking at her phone. She walked over to me and asked, “You want to call your parents? Wish them a Happy Thanksgiving?”
“It’s still early still…?” I thought for a moment about the two-hour time difference, but realized my dad’s parents were supposed to be down. That meant my Mom and Grandma were probably already up cooking. “Sure,” I said.
She handed me my phone and I used FaceTime to call my mom’s phone. It rang for long enough I wasn’t sure she was going to pick up, but when I saw a paper towel in her hands, I knew she was trying to clean her hands up from cooking something.
“Sofia!” she said.
“Hi Mommy,” I told her.
“Are you okay?” She asked nervously.
“Better now that I can see you,” I told her with a tear that rolled down my face. “Physically I’m fine… I’m getting homesick though without you or Hannah.”
“Oh, baby…” Mom and I talked for twenty minutes and then introduced the new ‘me’ to my grandmother. Grandpa and Dad apparently were elsewhere, and Lily was playing downstairs.
I just wanted a hug from Mom right now, but I had to settle for the hour conversation I had. When I finished, fresh tears came down my face and Camille hugged me. “It’s okay, I know you’ll see them soon!”
“I hope you’re right,” I told her as I regained some control.
Just as we were finally all ready to go to Camille’s Aunt’s house for lunch, her aunt called her parents. It was made clear in no uncertain terms that the mutant baby was not allowed to come! I could hear the angry words from her side and a very terse response from her mom telling her, “Fine, we’ll stay away from you all until you can grow up.”
I felt fresh tears because I felt bad about it. Her mom sensed that, “Sofia, don’t blame yourself. She’s an idiot and barely tolerated Camille. It’s time we cut ties with her until she gets a clue…”
“Sorry…” I told her still, “I’ve ruined your trip here.”
She hugged me reassuringly, “It’s not your fault!”
With that no one was quite sure what to do until Lioness came to the door to escort us to her Aunt’s. “Umm… change in plans,” Camille’s dad told her.
“We’ve been uninvited for dinner today…” he said.
“Oh…” she said, “I’m sorry to hear that - I’ve been there before. Anything we can do?”
He shrugged, “Probably take time I’m guessing for her to grow up. We’ll just need to come up with a new plan for food today I guess…”
“Well… If you don’t mind being around a bunch of crazy superheroes, and keeping their regular identities a secret, we have a traditional Thanksgiving meal planned here?”
“That would be wonderful,” Camille’s mom said. “Can I help?”
“Sure,” she told her.
The rest of the day evolved into one of the more surrealistic days I’d had yet – which was saying something! Camille sat in one room and played with Cassidy and me some while the Guard members and her mom made a late lunch feast. The heroes turned out to be some serious goofballs like my friends at school, and turned out to be the coolest Thanksgiving ever! Cassidy seemed to have fun being silly with them playing with her. Meanwhile Camille and I soaked up all of the stories that they told about each other’s exploits. Afterwards, Camille changed me, and I found myself in Lioness’ lap as she gently rubbed my back. I ended up napping in her comforting, soft furry arms.
I WAS SURPRISED when I woke up in my crib in Caireen’s castle. I felt myself on alert as I felt someone watching me, but was relieved to see it was Caireen. I felt my stomach grumble and felt hungrier than I had ever felt in her world. ‘I wonder if it’s because I over-exerted myself earlier with the wall?’
I stood up and made the universal ‘pick me up’ gesture to her.
She smiled and cooed at me for several minutes before changing a soaked diaper. “Let’s get you fed and then we’ll get you back to bed sweetie, you still need some more rest here…”
I found myself hungrily nursing at her breast as she sang a lullaby to me.
I WOKE UP laying down on the couch in our temporary room. Camille’s mom sat at a desk on a laptop computer, but the others were nowhere in sight. I sat up and asked, “Where is everyone?”
“They went to a playground with Cassidy to burn off some energy while you napped,” she told me as she walked over to me and picked me up. She squeezed at the padding underneath my tights and said, “Let’s get that diaper changed?”
It had become increasingly easy to just play the good baby, and let her quickly change me. She decided to leave off the tights when she was done, “I’m really not missing changing diapers all of the time,” she told me with a smile.
“I’d love to not need them…” I told her sadly.
She squeezed me in a hug and then took the used diaper to the bathroom. “Why don’t you work on some of that homework you mentioned?”
I nodded and got to work for a couple hours while the others were out. I was so focused on my Magic Theory book that Camille successfully snuck up on me and performed a tickle attack!
“Stop!!!” I whined as she went longer than Hannah ever did.
When she finally stopped, she had an evil grin, “Why?”
I stuck my tongue out and discovered that was the wrong move because she just started up again. When she did finally stop, I told her, “Now that you made me soak my diaper, can you please change me?”
She stared at me for a moment with her finger on her chin, “I guess… since you used the magic word!”
We spent the rest of the night alternating the two of us studying, and playing with Cassidy when she came to get us. She was really confused about me being littler than her, but working on homework like her big sis. In the midst of all of that I also talked to Hannah again for a half-hour, and then my family for a full hour. Lily was so excited to see my face, “Sofia!!!!!” She exclaimed, “Look what Grammy bought me! I big girl!!!!” she pulled up the skirt of her dress to excitedly show me the Pull-Up that had my namesake on it. She made a face though as she said, “Uh-oh…”
“Did you have an accident?” Mom asked her.
She began crying and the two of them left for a few minutes while I talked with Grandma and Grandpa. They really did seem to mostly be okay with the new me. They were quite surprised to learn that while their baby granddaughter was beginning to be potty-trained, her big brother was looking to be a baby in diapers forever!
I finished the call and felt better at having seen them, but also slightly more depressed knowing how long it might be before I got to go home to see them in person. ‘At least Mom may have some luck potty-training Lily with me gone…’
Before I went to bed, I spent another couple of hours trying to get caught up on the missed work from the semester. Working with my new memory I also began trying to get ahead on some of the reading. Since they were putting me undercover so soon, I didn’t want to just come back and be even further behind. The last thing I wanted to do was repeat my freshman year - a third time!
THAT NIGHT IN Caireen’s kingdom was spent working on a wall on the opposite side of the valley from the first one I had made. As I worked that day, I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed by the stares of the people who were around me. All of them looked at me in awe, bowing, curtsying, or kneeling before me way too often for my comfort. I managed to complete the same type of structure, and once again was beyond exhausted when I finished!
As I woke up on that Black Friday morning, I listened to Camille’s parents talking about shopping opportunities they wanted to take. In the hopes of a safer shopping trip, they decided they would go shopping without the two of us. Camille was disappointed, but I had already been scheduled to go into the simulations Doctor Thunder had set up for me again. With the time dilation that the simulations caused I spent about five weeks practicing being a twelve-month old baby, making attempted arrests, and generally getting my ass handed to me one-hundred percent of the time! Each time that the simulation went dark I had to blink tears out of my eyes that I was failing so badly.
Before the last time they sent me in, Lioness asked me, “Why do you keep holding back on using your magic?”
“I’m not, I just used my shield to last a few minutes there before they blew up the place!”
“Have you used the spell I saw that you used on Rosemerta? Or any of the other offensive spells you probably have?”
I shrugged, “I guess not? That’s more like being an executioner though,” I said nervously.
Camille came in right then, “How’s it going? Dynamo told me you all were still down here?”
“Trying to get Emerald to open up her abilities in the sim,” she told her.
“Can you handle a team member?” she asked Doctor Thunder.
“Umm… yes, but I only have it programmed for…”
I guessed what she meant, but Camille said, “For a baby?”
She nodded, “I don’t think we have time today to reprogram it.”
“What would happen if I went in?” She smiled at me, “Would I be a wittle baby girl like Emerald?”
I smiled and blushed at the same time as she said, “Umm… yes…?”
“Put me in!”
Shortly after that I found myself sharing some blocks on a cushioned floor of the daycare center with a baby Camille who looked a lot like Cassidy! We spent a simulated hour crawling around the floor before I found myself needing to poop. When I was done, I realized Camille was making the same face I just had and I watched her sit down in it and giggle. For whatever reason I decided to follow her lead. We had a half-hour of playtime before a daycare worker picked us up and said, “Uh-oh,” with a sniff, “we have two stinky butts here!”
The daycare worker griped about us intentionally smushing it for them to clean up to her coworker as she cleaned us up. Everything went normal until lunch time, when instead of being taken for a nap to our cribs, they carried us back to the back room where everything had been taking place in these sims. Maponus and his cohorts were preparing to strip Camille of her diaper, and I decided not to wait any longer. This time I preemptively wrapped them in cages and put my shield up around us.
Another man went to shoot and I caught him with a freezing spell. Several other shots were fired as I took out some others before noticing Maponus had broken free. He was about to perform his own spell, so I used the newer spell I’d learned and pushed a wall of rock from the ground up around him in a box to the ceiling. Before he could get out, I used the freeze spell on him, and pulled the rock down. It was clear he was dead, and I felt only slightly guilty about that as the simulation ended.
“What did I do wrong now?” I asked.
“Nothing, that was a successful run,” Doctor Thunder told me.
“Really… Just out of curiosity, why didn’t you hold back that time?”
I looked at Camille coming out of the simulator, “I had a friend to protect?”
“Whatever it was, that’s the way you survive! Don’t hold anything back if it gets to that point!” She looked at me and added, “Never trust a mutant to be a lower level than you. There’s no such thing as cheating in a fight – always do whatever you have to do to win!”
“Yes Ma’am,” I told her.
“Now why don’t you two get cleaned up so that Sofia can meet with Agent Sanders who just arrived?”
Camille stripped out of the suit and I looked away as I realized she had a genuine accident in the simulation. Given how many times she had cleaned me up I decided to help. She blushed as she looked over at me and said, “Thanks… I guess it’s about time you repaid the favor?”
I smirked. “I figured you didn’t want the diaper though?” She tickled me and soon had me dressed in a green Christmas dress her parents had bought me while they had been shopping. It had a white fur hem on the bottom of the skirt, and the long velvet sleeves ended in the same white fur. She dressed me in a pair of white tights and put my hair up to go with my tiara. Little buckled black Mary Jane shoes were placed on my feet and she squealed, “You look so cute!!!!”
I smiled at her and said ‘thank you,’ all the while wondering why I should be that dressed up then!
Agent Sanders stopped by as planned then, and I smirked as he didn’t hide the confused expression on his face very well. “Agent Emerald… you look pretty today,” he saved himself.
I curtseyed and said, “Thanks Agent Sanders. You needed to see me?” I asked him as I pointed to the couch for him to sit down and I sat down opposite him.
“Yes, I would like to go over your travel arrangements and cover for next week when we pick you up.”
I nodded, “Wouldn’t this be better to wait and tell Hannah too?”
He shrugged, “I’ve already done a video conference with her, so she’s aware.”
I nodded, “Okay then… How are we doing this?”
“Next Friday we’re going to pick you and Hannah up from Whateley. We’re going to drive to the town over and we’ll transfer you to your car. There’s already a one-bedroom apartment setup for the two of you to stay in. Hannah will have agents acting as her parents that will help move you in. You’ll have some supplies, but you’ll likely need to go to the grocery store once you get settled in.”
He led me through the rest of the plan of Hannah beginning to work at a department store as a seasonal worker. They would have her call and set up a space for me at the daycare Friday after we got into the apartment. She would drop me off in the morning and go into work, and then pick me up before the daycare closed each day. The hope was that a week would be enough, but the operation was set to continue up until Christmas Eve if necessary.
“If it goes that long… is there some way we can see our families?”
He shrugged, “Hopefully it doesn’t… but if it does, I guess we’ll jump off that bridge when we come to it. We don’t normally use undercover agents so young, so I don’t really want us leaving you under too long. We may just pull you out if nothing comes out of it and try another tactic in a couple months.”
I nodded, “Hopefully we can wrap it up quickly. How old did you decide I need to be?”
“Your cover is that you just had your first birthday this week actually.”
“Smash cake and everything?” I smirked.
He smiled, “Probably, Hannah seems like the kind of mommy that would insist on that!”
“What are our cover names?” I asked him.
Hannah was going to be Haley Stephenson, nineteen years old, and I was going to be her daughter Olivia. “Olivia?!?” I made a face about the name.
“What’s wrong with Olivia?” he asked.
I shrugged, “Not my favorite name. I knew one once that was a real bitch.”
He looked mildly stunned at my language, “You know you can’t swear at daycare, right?”
“Don’t worry, it’ll be all baby babble and Ma-ma or ba-ba. Maybe ‘no,’ but that’s all I would be able to at most at that age. This is going to suck…”
He smiled, “Hopefully it’s worth it in the end?”
“I hope so… I want to take down those monsters!”
He left after giving me a packet that I placed inside my bag. It contained a driver’s license, social security card, and birth certificate for Hannah’s identity, as well as a birth certificate and shot record for me.
I was looking at a ten-page legend for Hannah to memorize about her background while Camille happened to peak at the document pile and said, “Oh, you just turned one today! We should get you a cake to smash into!”
I glared at her and pushed everything into the bag. “For your information I’m really eighteen-months old!”
I learned I probably shouldn’t antagonize her though because I ended up being tortured by the tickle monster for a long while. Her mom came in and said, “Oh Camille, can you change her wet diaper and then we’ll leave?”
“Leave?!?” I asked nervously.
She smiled, “Relax, we’re going out to eat but there’s half of the Emerald Guard watching out for us. They’re pretty sure Maponus was seen leaving the city anyway.”
To my surprise the evening went smoothly, with no explosions, bad guys, or anything else! We actually had a nice dinner and finally made it up to the top of Rockefeller Center like I’d been promised. It was frigid at the top with the wind, but the view of the city was spectacular! We stayed up there long enough for all of us to pose in a lot of pictures, and then picked up some souvenirs to take home. I grabbed a shirt for Hannah that I thought she would like, as well as a couple Christmas presents for my family from the gift shops there and around the area. As we left Rockefeller Center, I couldn’t help but note the still destroyed statue of Prometheus behind yellow police tape. I felt terrible for the lives that had been lost that week, but I managed to hold the tears back until I went to sleep in my crib that night.