THE NEXT WEEK at the daycare passed by without anything significant happening - just more boring time spent pretending to be a helpless baby. In Caireen’s world I had watched several attempts at breaching the wall, but I was proud that nothing Camulus and his forces had tried had even scratched it so far! Our special forces groups had been reinforced with another hundred men, and continued to keep the enemy honest in the rear of their forces. I figured Camulus had to be getting desperate for a new plan with the reports of his dwindling supplies and deserters, but thus far we hadn’t seen one in action.
On my second Tuesday at daycare, I overheard a conversation that Sally and Amy would be out for some state training they had to do. Kate would be reinforced with a couple other workers from other rooms of the daycare. The glare I got during a diaper change that day was reinforced with, “So help me if you have a blowout tomorrow…” I’d just cooed and giggled, but wondered if this wasn’t the opportunity that they had been waiting for to get access to me.
Through the Bureau we’d determined that Sally and Amy seemed completely innocent. Kate however had a sealed juvenile rap sheet that the Bureau had to fight to get access to. She’d been involved in some drugs and theft by the time she was thirteen, and was a runaway who was trafficked as an underage prostitute while she was fourteen and fifteen. There was another theft and drug charge that had been pled down in exchange for testimony on the traffickers. As a result, if anyone searched her records, she was clean. She had been a victim, and I felt bad for her, but I had a bad feeling that the abused might have been all the more willing to become the abuser.
Hannah had let the Bureau know that we thought something might happen today, but since they’d already been on standby there was nothing really different. I was checked in like normal, but instead of putting me on the floor to play, Kate placed me in a crib.
“Why are you putting her in the crib already?” A girl I hadn’t met before asked.
“Oh, I’m supposed to take her over for some therapy with the therapist in an hour. I figure maybe a nap beforehand will help her out. Can you get a bottle warmed up for her? She can be a real baby about needing it warmed up first!”
“That was a terrible pun,” the girl giggled. She seemed to be about Kate’s age.
‘Therapy?’ I asked. ‘I don’t go to therapy…’
‘This might be it,’ Caireen agreed with me.
It was clear that this all stunk to high heaven, and I began taking inventory of my resources. My weapon that I’d been given by Doctor Thunder was effectively in a magical holster only I could get to. The magic lines in this town weren’t quite as strong as around Whateley, but I had access to a decent smaller vein of essence to use.
A bottle was brought over by the new girl who had asked about me, “She’s such an adorable baby! Don’t you just want to take them home with you each day?”
“Not that one, she had the blowout of the century last week… Twice! It was soooo disgusting!”
The girl picked me up and said, “This cutie? Aww…” she stuck the bottle in my mouth and cradled me in her arms. “She couldn’t help it!”
Sensing something was up I pretended to relax and sleep as I emptied the bottle. The new girl was gentle and I felt comfortable in her arms. ‘I hope she’s not involved,’ I thought. ‘She’s a lot sweeter than Kate!’
I pretended to sleep for a half-hour or so before Kate said, “You two are good for a few minutes while I run her to her therapist, right?”
“We got this Kate!” the man said.
“Yep, we do better without you anyway!”
I intentionally pretended to sleep as she slipped a pacifier into my mouth. I stayed still as I was carried down the hallway, outside, and to the next unit of the shopping center.
I was bounced a bit with each of her steps and wondered exactly what I was being carried into. Doctor Thunder had used the specs of the videos that had been found as a reference – so I hoped the room would be expected, but had no clue. I decided to act like I was waking up a bit and started to fuss.
“Shh… It’s okay little one.” Kate cooed at me, “We’ll get this over with soon and you’ll be back with your mommy. You’ll never even remember this when you’re older!”
I looked at her and then around the room in the new building she passed through. There was a long hallway and we were soon in a large garage space. One wall was painted with a background of a nursery, with a crib and a changing table against it. High quality cameras sat waiting beside it, and I felt my nerves growing. Several other sections of the space looked like some sort of nightmare doctor offices and butcher shops…
“Kate! This baby is a great find! How long do we have?” a man innocently dressed in a green polo, and tan slacks asked.
“She’s in therapy right now, so I’d say an hour?”
“You said she’s still not talking, right?”
“Just babble and mama pretty much.” She bounced me. “So, where do you want her?”
“For her first time we’ll just do her in the nursery scene.”
“You need me?”
“Not immediately, we’ll probably do a breast feeding zoom in with you though once she’s screaming.”
I felt Kate shudder underneath me and I wondered how willingly involved she was. As she sat me down another man came in and my stomach clenched when I saw who it was.
Maponus was dressed like some sort of innocent father in a shirt and pants. Jacob Wells, his real name, looked me over like I was a piece of meat and my skin crawled. I wondered if he would figure out who I was, but he said, “Well done Kate! You found me a fine baby here! This is going to be fun today! We’ll make lots of money!”
“Glad you’re happy…” Kate said, some guilt creeping into her voice.
“Go ahead and set her down on the changing table. I think we’ll start here… What do you think Ian?” He asked the other guy.
“Sure, we have enough scenes pulling babies out of their cribs. Just getting right into it will appease our fans.”
I looked around nervously at Kate as she sat me down on the changing table. A strap was there but they didn’t move to use it. “Now, we’re going to call her…. Laney for this.” He said. “That way your mommy won’t know it’s you!” he said patronizingly to me. When he pulled out a massive fake phallus, I decided it was about time to move. “We’ll get you all ready to be a big girl here!”
“You ready Ian?”
“Three… Two… One… Action…” He said.
“Let’s get you something better to suck on that’s better than that pacifier Laney,” He said as he approached me.
I heard myself internally decide ‘Now!’ and went into motion. I activated my shield and used a light spell to temporarily blind them like a flash bang. In one quick movement, I jumped off of the table and away from him. I pulled out my weapon and pointed it at Maponus, “FBI FREEZE!!!!”
Ian and Kate seemed to be fully bound by the spell I’d used, but Maponus shrugged his way free of the spell and started laughing. He began to perform a counter spell of his own, and I fired three rounds at him. Much to my dismay they just bounced off of a shield he created. Suddenly all of my senses went blank!
I couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, couldn’t smell, couldn’t feel anything!
Caireen urged me to launch a wide attack and I quickly threw up a wall of stone in front of me, while simultaneously sending a jet of purple energy out in a one-eighty-degree arc in front of it. I must have hit him because my senses came back. “Bitch!” he complained.
I pulled down my wall and tried a blast directly at him, but he did something to dissipate it.
“Who the hell are you?!?!” He screamed at me as he sent a wave of metal knives at me.
I blocked and said, “Emerald Baby at your service,” and activated my mental reset button for my appearance and belatedly put on my costume.
He gawked at me, and his voice changed, “You!!!! My father wants you dead!”
He renewed his attack by using magic to fling a hundred knives my way! I moved to block them with a wall of stone, while sending four small ley lines worth of a blast at him. I missed one of the knives though and cried out as it sliced through my upper left arm!
“Damnit!” I cried out.
I let the wall fall down, and saw that he had blocked my spell, but it looked like it had taken out a lot of him. I felt blood on my arm and hoped my healing would start up soon!
“You should give up now, let me have my fun and then I’ll put you out of your misery! It’ll be better than my Father getting to you.”
I felt Caireen’s anger flare up worse than I’d seen, and just before I lost my senses again, she reinforced me as I fired an ice spell at him. My senses began going black again for a second, but it lifted nearly instantaneously, and I watched in horror as his limbs became covered in ice crystals. In slow motion they creeped up to his face. As it neared his head, he tried one more attempt to get free, to which I blasted him with another five shots of my pistol and watched him crumble into glass shards like in the old terminator movie.
I hoped I wouldn’t get in trouble for hiding evidence or something, but I activated the same fire spell I’d used with Rosemerta to incinerate his body just as the other agents finally decided to show up!
“FBI!!!!” They called out.
“IT’S ME EMERALD, I’M AN AGENT, DON’T SHOOT!” I called out.
“Holy shit!!! What the hell happened in here?” One of the agents asked. “Did you kill someone?”
“Sorry, the suspect, code named Maponus, refused to go down without a fight.” I said and turned to look up at Kate and the other guy Ian who were still locked up inside their tendrilled cages.
“What happened to these guys?”
“Those are my restraints, if you’re ready to cuff and subdue them I’ll remove them.”
I watched as three men a piece pointed their rifles at each, while another cuffed them and kicked them to the ground as soon as I released the cages. I walked over to the man and said, “You are a piece of shit and I hope you rot in prison. We’ll have to make sure the other inmates know you like babies.” I looked up at the agent holding his arms, “Get this despicable piece of filth out of my face.”
Agent Sanders appeared right then, “Agent Emerald, are you okay?” He said nervously looking at my arm.
It was mostly healed, with just a red spot remaining, “He got me good if it took this long to heal…” I said aloud, “I’ll be fine in about ten more minutes. Can you let Agent Emped know to come?”
“Already here,” Hannah said, coming in her costume through the door. She moved to pick me up, but I stopped her.
“Good, I’ll need you in a minute. Umm… Agent Sanders?” I said.
“Yes?” he replied.
I motioned for him to move over to the side with me, “Look, I’m pretty sure it’s just Kate, Ian, and Maponus, but it could be another employee or two involved. Can we question Kate somewhere? I think if she was given the right incentive, she’ll talk. I have this… feeling, that while she’s not innocent, she may not have been involved in this completely of her free will…”
He nodded, “We need to use the local PD for their holding cells anyway. I’m sure they’ll lend us a room. Are you doing the questioning?”
“With Emped’s help. She’ll be able to help us feel if she’s telling the truth or not.”
“Fair enough,” he looked at me, “The daycare will probably notice her being gone?”
“Maybe keep all of the rest of the employees there for now? Have parents pick up their kids? I don’t think there are any other mutants in there to worry about.”
“Sure as hell hope not if this is the damage we expect when you fight! What did you two do in here?” He asked, pointing around at the destruction. The concrete floor was pretty much ripped up and in shambles throughout the room. Glass had been blown out of the few windows that were in there. The only things still really intact were the cameras and pieces of baby furniture. I watched as techs began coming inside to collect evidence.
“He didn’t want to come quietly?” I suggested. “Make sure your techs get the footage off of the cameras and don’t release that of the fight if you can. Or at least blur my features.”
“You didn’t look like yourself at all before.”
“I know, but do you really want everyone to know you have a secret baby agent?”
He nodded, “Okay.”
I put my hands up to Hannah who carried me out to her car. A spare diaper was found and I was mercifully changed.
“You hungry?” She asked.
“Starving,” I said, feeling exhausted.
“I have some baby food, you want that?”
I glared at her, “Can we please just stop at McDonalds. I need three double hamburger meals to make up for that slop I’ve been eating. It’s been torture watching you eat regular food!”
“Come on, it couldn’t have been that bad…?”
“That chicken? It definitely was! You heard about the blowout from that jar… but let me tell you…”
I animatedly began talking for the first time in this world in not quite two weeks. She went through the drive-thru and got my meals. As we pulled up to the PDs parking lot and she handed me the food, she said, “Make sure you don’t overeat… I still have these things you know!”
“After the burgers!”
“Will you still be hungry?”
“Haven’t you been pumping at lunch…?”
She sighed, “Okay, burgers first…”
She left the car running and jumped into the back seat next to me, and watched me eat the stack of burgers. My small mouth meant I couldn’t eat them that quickly, but I rushed to scarf them down in about fifteen minutes while relishing the return of a full mouth of teeth. When I was done, she grabbed me and put me to her breasts. As I finished her second one, I felt really bloated, “Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that much…”
“If you get sick, you’re going back to baby food.”
“If you mention that stuff then I will be sick!”
She laid me down then on the seat and quickly changed my now poopy diaper. Eventually she and I walked inside, still wearing our costumes, and approached the front security area to get into the police station. “Umm… can I help you?” An officer asked at the front of the metal detectors.
“I’m FBI Agent Emerald, and this Agent Emped. Agent Sanders was supposed to set up an interrogation room for us?” I pulled my ID out and he took a look at my ID and badge.
He looked at me like I had grown a second head and I sighed, “I’m not kidding, where do we need to go?”
He looked over at another officer, “Can you show these two where the interrogation rooms are?”
“Umm… Sure…” He said.
He walked us down and we soon found Agent Sanders hanging out in the hallway from a one-way glass room. “There you two are, where’d you go?”
“Someone was going through food withdrawals. Rather than have her whine for all eternity I decided McDonalds was an okay stop on the way.” Hannah told him.
He smiled at me, “I hope you know we do appreciate what you’ve done here. You said you think Emped can help out here?”
“I think so. Emped, can you tell him what they figured out with your empath talent?”
“Well… I don’t know…”
“Come on, it will help here.”
“Well, basically it’s a useless talent, but I can tell what people’s emotions are… and what they’re feeling? I guess I can tell when people lie?”
“That’s certainly not useless,” he told her. “We do have to be careful with you questioning suspects with it. Since you can’t actually read minds it’s okay, but privacy laws mean we need to make sure we don’t void any information discovered.”
She blushed, “You really think it’s useful?”
“Yes, it is, and I have a feeling Emerald understands why since she insisted on you being involved. Now Emerald, do you want me to take the lead on questioning?” He asked me.
“Actually sir, I think it’s going to blow her mind more if I do it. She’s been taking care of me for almost two weeks now… I have a feeling it’ll mess with her a lot more if I do it.”
“Fair enough, I’m going to go in as backup. If I say stop for any reason you need to. If she asks for a lawyer we have to stop too.”
I nodded, having seen enough detective shows growing up. He opened up the door to the interrogation room for me and I saw Kate sitting in a chair with her hands cuffed together. Two chairs sat on the other side of the table and I found myself deciding to just jump on top of the table and sat down looking at her. “So, Kate… I think I should introduce myself, my name is not Olivia, but rather Agent Emerald, F.B.I.”
“What the fuck is going on?!?” she looked at Hannah and Sanders who sat behind me.
“What’s going on is that you are involved in one of the worst child exploitation rings in a decade, and we’ve got you and Ian as our only suspects now.”
“Bullshit! That was all Jake! You’d know that if you didn’t kill him!”
“I’m sure he was involved, but you were the one who carried me off to go get abused. What was the plan? Were you sickos going to have me sucking on that stupid toy, then move on to pushing it into me?!?” I hissed. I could tell my eyes had just done their ‘I’m pissed off’ glow as she looked suddenly terrified.
“It wasn’t like that!” She started to cry.
“Then how was it?”
“Babies aren’t supposed to remember – you wouldn’t have known in a year or two…”
“Now that’s bullshit!” I told her, “And a jury is going to think that too. With the long record you’re looking at life in prison, maybe even the needle’s possible here. Prisoners aren’t going to look too kindly on you as a child molestor.”
“What?!? But I didn’t do…”
“You’re right, you didn’t do anything to stop it,” I told her.
“But what? You enjoyed it too? Seeing someone else abused for once instead of it being you? I’ve seen your record, one arrest after another. You got to be the pimp now? It made you feel powerful?” Hannah pitched in, “I can feel your positive memories there. You must have loved watching…”
“Stop!” She cried, “I hated it!!!! If I didn’t help them though, they would kill me! Ian is my pimp…”
She broke a lot easier than I had expected honestly. After she told us about his involvement I asked, “Who else at the daycare is involved?”
“No one,” she said nervously.
“She’s lying,” Hannah said though to confirm that.
“I can tell that you’re lying, it’s one of my powers,” Hannah told her.
“You’re not allowed to read my mind!”
“I’m not, it’s just a feeling of truth or lie for me, now why don’t you tell us the truth? No other babies need to get hurt here…”
More tears from Kate later, we learned that the daycare owner and four other employees were all involved too. The daycare owner was apparently fully complicit and even gave the orders more than Maponus. Sanders had him and the others arrested where they were all being held at the daycare. They also made sure that the state shut down the daycare facility for good at that point. It seemed like Ian and Maponus had been friends growing up, and he’d reached out to his mutant friend for help with this awful scheme. With the two of them, plus the daycare owner, they’d been operating in secret for four years – sadly abusing more kids than could be counted!
I’d sat in with Agent Sanders' quick interrogation of Ian before he lawyered up. In the time I was in there I decided he was a piece of scum that needed to be removed from society forever. Unfortunately, I had no justification to have done that earlier!
We were in a small conference room afterwards where Hannah had been having a debriefing, “Okay, Agent Emped has given her account for these past couple weeks, I need yours now Emerald…”
Two other agents had joined us and everything was being recorded as they documented my account. I spent the better part of two hours telling, and re-telling, everything before the recorder was turned off. “With your account, Kate’s testimony, and the film from the cameras this will be called a justified shoot,” Agent Sanders told me.
“Thanks… I would hope so! Capturing him alive wasn’t really an option.”
“No, I agree it wasn’t. Now, it’s going to be a three-hour drive back to your school. I’m going to take you back there and then deal with everything else from this case back in my office. I’ll be in touch soon at least about your internship details over the summer.”
“Thank you, sir,” I told him and followed him out where Hannah had been waiting.
I held my arms up to her and she picked me up, making a face as she did so, “You’re poopy again…”
“Gee, I hadn’t noticed,” I said sarcastically.
“You know I think I liked it better when you only babbled.” She smiled, “When you said Mama, you were so cute…”
“Just change me already please!” I told her as she carried me to a nearby women’s bathroom and laid me on the small pull-down table. A lady officer washing her hands at the sink gave us a funny look before leaving us both giggling when she left.
WE WERE DRIVEN by Agent Sanders to the apartment to pick up the belongings we cared about, including the baby food device, before heading away from the town we were in. After we stopped for a quick dinner at a Waffle House, we drove straight back to Whateley in Agent Sanders’ SUV.
We each used our phones to call our parents on the way back. “Mom?” I asked when she answered the phone.
“Sofia!” She said excitedly, “Levi, Sofia’s on the phone!”
A moment later I began having a conversation catching them up on nearly two weeks of missed time. “I was so worried about you!” Mom told me. “Did you catch them?”
I nodded as I said, “Yes, we did.”
“What were you doing anyway? You didn’t say beforehand?”
“I went into a daycare undercover as a baby,” I told her. “It’s probably what my job will be like most of the time.”
She giggled, “So you had two weeks of pretending to be a baby at daycare each day?”
I sighed and rolled my eyes, “I had two weeks of pretending to be a baby all day long Mom. Let me tell you, if I ever see a jar of baby food again…”
Hannah giggled next to me, and I stuck my tongue out at her as she held up a jar of that chicken goop.
We both had good conversations with our parents, and I even talked to Lily a bit too. I learned that they and Hannah’s parents had found a large cabin to rent for Christmas for us to be together. They would fly out at the end of our combat finals week, and stick around until after New Years Day. I felt myself tearing up about seeing everyone again, but managed to not start bawling! I missed my family so much!!!
When we pulled up to the front office he said, “What you two did on this case was really great work, I’m sure we’ll have another mission for you no later than the summer. I was very impressed that you kept in character throughout the mission. Emerald, you especially did above and beyond what I would have hoped for.”
I blushed, “Thank you sir, I’m just glad to be done with that. You have no idea how hard it was to pretend to be that young!”
He laughed, “No I don’t, and I don’t want to!”
He waited with our things while we checked back into the school office. It was very late, but a security officer was up just for such reasons. “You’re back late?”
I nodded, “Sorry, we’ve been on an assignment, we just need to check back in.”
He looked at me and shook his head, “This is so surreal sometimes…”
Once we were marked back present on the campus, we grabbed our things and made our way back to Poe. We used our student badges to open the door and Mrs. Horton saw us and walked over. “You’re back! I thought you might not make it back before the end of the semester?”
Hannah smiled, “Sofia here managed to end the case today, so we’re back already!”
“Great! That means you’ve made it in time to have a couple days of review and then you’ll be ready for your finals next week?”
I felt the bottom drop out of my stomach, “Umm… maybe I should have taken longer Hannah?”
Mrs. Horton laughed, while Hannah said, “Yes, I guess you should have…”
“You two might have some packages in my office, come see me tomorrow and I’ll get them for you.”
“Okay, goodnight Mrs. Horton,” Hannah said.
Lights were supposed to be out by this time on school nights, unless you had some odd condition that kept you from sleeping. That meant we got inside our room without encountering anyone else on the way. “I could so use a bath…” I found myself saying.
“You want one and then we’ll both go to bed?” Hannah asked.
“Sure…” I told her. She grabbed a set of pajamas, a diaper, and some wipes for me, as well as a bathrobe and underwear set for her. As she let the bath fill, I watched her bring the curtain that surrounded the tub closed. “Why are you closing that?” I asked, “You usually just let everyone see me naked?”
“Umm… do you mind if I just join you in the bath tonight? A bath sounds great, but I don’t want to stay up after you go to bed?”
“I could take a bath alone you know…?”
I sighed and just nodded, “Fine, I’ll share! You’re such a big baby…”
She smiled at me and began stripping off her clothes first. Once her underwear was off, I became the focus of her efforts. My diaper was balled up and placed next to my clothes, before she gathered me up and sat down in the tub with me in her lap. She’d been giving me baths since we’d arrived, but this was the first time she’d joined me. I felt like she took more time washing me, herself, and then she played with me a bit in the water.
After a while I felt something and went, “oops…” as I peed in the water.
She just laughed, “It’s just pee… it’s okay,” She squeezed me when I was done and rinsed us off with a spray nozzle after the tub emptied. I was dressed back in a diaper, her in her panties and robe, and then she carried me and our stuff back to the room. Closing the door, she sat down in the rocking chair with me.
She just hugged me for a long moment suddenly, “I was so scared today,” she told me.
I looked up at her, “Of what?”
“Of losing you silly! Or something else happening. You really do realize what they wanted to do with you, right?”
I nodded, “I still want to vomit thinking about it.”
“Well, I was so scared… As soon as I got the call that you were being moved out of the daycare, I left work immediately.”
“I hope you didn’t put them in a jam?” I said, “They seemed nice enough…?”
“It turns out I was working there because her husband works for the Bureau, she understood”
I nodded at that, “Sorry I scared you.”
She hugged my naked body to her own for a few minutes before saying, “You ready for your night-night num-nums?”
“You’re going to have tone down the mommy stuff with everyone else around here…” I told her, blushing.
“So, no more baby food at meal times?”
I just sighed and leaned forward and took her nipple in mouth and began nursing. The day had been so crazy, and she was right… I could have died or had something else happen. Caireen gave me a mental hug, and I was soon asleep.
WHEN I WOKE in my crib, I heard the clanging of bells and loud yelling! I was about to cry to get Caireen’s attention, but she quickly strode through the door and picked me up. I looked at her and saw she wasn’t wearing a dress like normal. Instead she was dressed in what looked like leather pants, and a tunic made similarly. Looking at it made me think of some of the ‘armor’ pre-chainmail in the history books I’d seen.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“Camulus is ramping up his attack on the valley wall. Our scouts have also noticed a force that seems to be trying to tunnel through the mountain.”
I nodded and put my arms up to be picked up. She carried me to the table and dressed me again in the thin diaper she’d created. She pulled out a nearly matching set of clothes to what she wore, but included a chainmail shirt. “What’s that made out of?” I asked. “It looks like mithril?”
She nodded, “You’ve noticed my guard wears it, it’s the most protective armor I can give you. It should protect you from being cut from sword blows. Hopefully you’ve learned your lessons well from d’Artagnon, I suspect you’re going to need them soon.”
I looked up at her in surprise, and wondered just what Camulus was doing that she was suddenly more nervous.
The tunic went over the top of my clothes and she added my tiara as well. Looking in a tall mirror we looked very much like mother and daughter dressed up for some Halloween event… ‘This isn’t a costume though…’ I thought to myself.
She carried me down to the situation room and I looked at a sea of the General’s aides running back and forth with information. The scrying mirrors each had someone watching them individually calling out more information, but I could just see the views past them.
I felt my jaw drop as I saw that the wall on the southern end of the valley suddenly gained a massive crack running down the middle of it. Even as they were trying to split it apart, they had managed to land men on top with ladders and were quickly overwhelming our troops! Just as I got my mind wrapped around that, we felt a rumble in the ground like an earthquake. The view from Citadel Four showed that across the valley, below Citadel Two, a tunnel had suddenly appeared and their men were streaming out! Just as I thought the bad news would be finished, the same thing happened with the view from Citadel One, underneath Citadel Three.
“They’ve breached the valley!” I heard multiple voices call out!