The prisoner was led to the conference room in the administrative section of the military prison. He was told to be seated, and then left alone for several minutes. A team of people entered the room, two men and a woman in her mid thirties. After being introduced to them, the prisoner was asked his name.
"I'm Landon Lennox, prison number K-83372."
"We sent out the poll asking if people were willing to volunteer for a miniaturization experiment, and you were one of the only prisoners who responded in the affirmative," said an older man. "You've been sentenced to life in prison, so it seems to make sense that you see this as a step up from your current situation."
The other man introduced himself as a scientist. "I'm Professor Nathan Perry. Allow me to explain the theory for miniaturization, Mr. Lennox. Your background as an electrician will make it easier for you to understand the theory. That's part of the reason you were chosen over the other volunteers."
"I've been hearing about a concept called neutrino dissimilation," said Landon. "Does the theory have something to do with neutrinos?"
"Yes, but it's somewhat more technical than that, Mr. Lennox. Are you familiar with dimensional membranes?"
"I know they're being used by the military on an experimental basis," Landon replied.
"Neutrino dissimilation relies on opening two dimensional membranes, let's call them x and y. The x dimensional membrane surrounds the quarks and gluons composing the protons and neutrons of the nucleus of the atoms we are miniaturizing. Are you with me so far?"
"Yes," Landon replied.
"The x dimensional membrane acts as a cheese cloth, separating the majority of the matter in these quarks and gluons and forcing the excess matter to be discharged into another dimension."
"What about the electrons?" Landon asked.
"We can't currently reduce the size of electrons, but the y dimensional membrane has a peculiar quality, it can reduce the strength of the charge of the orbiting electrons, so it is in proportion to the diminishing charge of the protons which have decreased in size, weight, volume and mass!"
"That would cause the miniaturized atoms to move closer together, because the charge of the protons and electrons is weakened!" Landon replied.
Professor Perry turned and looked at the other two people and said, "We made the right choice, he seems to understand the theory. I wouldn't feel right accepting a volunteer who was ignorant of the specifics and dangers of the experiment."
"So what happens to me after I shrink?" Landon asked.
"Major Macy Dawson has volunteered to take you home to live with her, she will care for you until we can find a way to re-enlarge you. She has a daughter who knows about the experiment, and will keep you a secret from the public."
"What about air and water and food?" Landon asked.
"The dimensional membranes will cause air molecules around you to shrink so oxygen can enter your lungs, and when you exhale, carbon dioxide will be re-enlarged back to a normal scale. As far as water is concerned, you must drink water that has been reduced to your proportionate size, if you drink normal water that hasn't been miniaturized, the water molecules will pass through your system without nourishing you. We will deliver food and water that has been reduced down to your scale at regular intervals."
"How close are you to finding a way to re-enlarge someone?" Landon asked.
"We think we can do it within one or two decades," said Professor Perry, "but that depends on how much funding the government doles out for scientific research during that time."
"Why would you look into shrinking someone this early into your research?" Landon asked.
"The military is interested in the possibilities of miniaturization as a weapon, but first we need to know the long term consequences of this technology, the possibilities of radiation exposure, and any unforeseen consequences. The Geneva convention won't allow us to use miniaturization as a weapon of war until we know exactly what we're dealing with."
"What will I live in while in Major Dawson's home?" Landon asked.
"We've design a containment unit that converts most of the carbon dioxide you exhale back into oxygen, there will be a bed with everything you need reduced down to your scale. One thing you need to keep in mind, if you are kept in an enclosed space, such as a jar or a cup with a lid for too long, you would suffocate. You need access to large amounts of oxygen."
"What kind of size scale are we talking about here?" Landon asked.
"You will be reduced to a scale of one over seventy-two," Professor Perry responded.
"Why such a specific number?" Landon asked. "Why not one over a hundred?"
"I keep forgetting that your generation was raised on the metric system," Professor Perry replied. "When I was your age, I would say a six foot man would be reduced to an inch tall, but you probably don't know what six feet are."
"Actually, you're right." Landon replied.
"I believe an inch is about two and half centimeters," said Professor Perry.
The other man had an electronic tablet with a stylus, and handed it over to Landon Lennox.
"Sign here if you authorize us to conduct the miniaturization experiment on you. Feel free to resign from this experiment at any time, this is strictly voluntary."
Landon had finished signing the electronic tablet before the man had even finished speaking.
"We'll contact you soon to take you to the facility where the shrinking experiment will be conducted," said Professor Perry.
Within a few hours, Landon was escorted to a vehicle where he was handcuffed and transported to a particle accelerator facility in a different part of the state. Both Professor Perry and Major Dawson greeted him when he arrived. Major Dawson was carrying the containment unit that would house Landon after he was miniaturized.
After being briefed, Landon was taken to the chamber where the experiment would be conducted. He was strapped in, and his hand cuffs were removed. There was a countdown coming through some speakers in the ceiling, when they reached zero, Landon was bathed in a strange energy field that decreased his stature and discharged over 99 percent of his body mass in the form of neutrinos.
Once the experiment was over, Landon stood up in what was once the concrete chair he had been sitting in. The straps that secured him and the chair were unaffected by the miniaturization process, but Landon and his clothing were reduced to a tiny fraction of their normal size.
Professor Nathan Perry and Major Macy Dawson both entered the chamber once it was clear that there were no signs of radiation.
Macy placed the containment unit on the concrete floor, and urged Landon to climb up the rungs of the ladder that led to a circular door built into the roof of the containment unit. Landon looked up to see the woman in her late 30s towering over him. She was beautiful, wearing a military fatigue jacket and miniskirt with army boots. Her legs were muscular and her face had a smile on it. To Landon, she seemed like a colossus. He had been six feet tall and 185 pounds when he was normal size, so being reduced to an inch tall made the 5’-9” Macy over 400 feet tall from his perspective.
As Landon climbed up and into the chamber, Macy said, "I don't know how you feel about being handled, so I'm giving you the option of doing things on your own, now that I'm going to be your caregiver."
Once Landon was inside the containment chamber, Macy carried him to her car. The world seemed to move around Landon. He felt like he was in a world of giants. The foliage, trees and structures outside were on a massive scale.
Macy’s eighteen-year-old daughter was sitting in the passenger seat. Landon looked her over, and saw that she looked like a younger version of her mother. She was a brunette with medium length hair, hazel eyes and a slight tan. She had thick arms that were due to muscle mass more than body fat; she wasn’t skinny, yet wasn’t fat, either.
"Mom, that took forever!"
"Pomona, these things take time. Here, you hold onto his containment unit for me while I drive!"
Pomona smiled when she saw Landon's tiny form inside the transparent box. She tapped on the outside to get his attention.
"Don't do that, Pomona!” said Macy. "We've got a long drive ahead of us, and your birthday is tomorrow, so we need to get on the road. His name is Landon Lennox, and he's not our toy. I am his caregiver, and we are required to keep his existence a secret, is that understood?" Pomona looked at her Mom and nodded.
The onboard computer did most of the driving, but Macy still needed to concentrate on the road as they drove home. Macy allowed Pomona to gently pull Landon out of the container and hold him. Macy used this opportunity for Landon and her to get to know each other. Landon stood on her palm, which was massive from his perspective. He marched across her forearm and tried to climb astride her upper arm, then returned across her forearm to her palm. The colossal collegian giggled.
"My husband Mike got dishonorably discharged from the military when Pomona was young," said Macy. "He moved to Alpha colony on Mars about six years ago. We rarely hear from him. So Landon, how did you end up in prison?"
"I was running weapons for a political group, and when we got caught, I took the fall so the political leaders who hired us wouldn't get arrested."
"So you're innocent?" Pomona asked, as she held Landon in her hand while her mother drove the vehicle.
"I wasn't innocent, it's just that I took the fall for some powerful people. You'll find out how the world really runs when you get older."
When they arrived home, it was late at night, so Macy unloaded the vehicle with the supplies for the shrunken man in her care, and Pomona took the habitation module to the dining room table. Once Macy had all the supplies loaded in the main closet, she took Landon in his habitation module to the closet in her bedroom, and sent Pomona to bed. Everyone slept well that night.
In the morning, Macy drove her daughter to the junior college, and left Landon to sleep in his container while she was at work. She had left enough food and water for Landon to get him through the day. Around 3 o'clock, Macy arrived home with Pomona and began decorating for Pomona’s birthday party. Macy allowed Landon to reside outside of his module.
"Pomona turns 19 today," said Macy to Landon. "Some of her friends are coming over for a party. We're going to have to keep you hidden from them, you're still top secret."
Once Macy was done decorating, she took Landon and placed him back within his container, and took him to her bedroom. She placed him high on the shelf in her closet. Within minutes, Pomona’s friends showed up. Skye was the first friend, she had a present in her hands and dropped it off on the dining room table. Two other friends showed up just as Macy received a phone call on her cell phone.
"The cake is ready, I've got to drive to the bakery to pick it up," said Macy, "Pomona, can you hold down the fort?"
"Sure, mom!" said Pomona.
After Macy had driven away, Pomona asked Skye and the others if they could keep a secret. All three young women agreed, and Pomona took her friends to her mother's bedroom and showed Landon to them. Pomona took him out of his container and held him in the palm of her hand.
"I dare you to swallow him!" said Skye.
The other two girls encouraged Pomona to swallow Landon as well. Pomona looked at the shrunken man in her hand, and considered that he was small enough to fit within her mouth, and she could probably easily swallow him. Pomona lifted him above her mouth.
Landon looked down at the daughter of his mistress. He knew he belonged to these people, and that re-enlargement was currently an impossibility. If this collegiate colossus swallowed him and she couldn’t vomit him up, there would be no escape. He knew from neutrino dissimilator theory that the cells of her body couldn’t assimilate miniaturized atoms, but his survival instinct still kicked in. Being digested by a larger predator was a biological fear stretching back to our furthest primate ancestors at the dawn of prehistory.
For a brief second before Pomona dropped him into her mouth, it occurred to Landon that if he had gone the route of getting married and having children, he could’ve had a son or daughter the same age as Pomona and her friends. It was humbling to think he had been reduced down to a plaything for them, a toy to be dominated and ordered around. He was subject to the whims of these people, who seemed like they belonged to a race of gods from Landon’s perspective.
Pomona lowered him gently onto her tongue. Landon could see every crevice in Pomona’s teeth. He could see that her tongue was clean just before she sealed her lips. Landon could feel her breath like wind washing over him.
Landon easily glided down her esophagus into her stomach, where there was a slight pocket of air.
Pomona’s three friends cheered when she opened her mouth to show it was empty, and raised her arms in victory. Just then, Pomona’s mother pulled up in the driveway.
"Quick," said Skye, “where's your first aid kit?"
"In the hallway closet," said Pomona.
Meanwhile, Landon splashed around in Pomona’s chyme. Miniaturized people are unable to smell the odors of miniaturized atoms. Landon knew this, yet he felt that he could detect certain odors in the stomach of the daunting damsel. As she ran toward the hall closet, Landon was thrown and tossed around within her belly, striving to hold his breath as much as possible.
Skye quickly went and got out the first aid kit and retrieved the neural stimulator device.
"Let's go to the bathroom," said Skye. Once Skye and Pomona were inside the bathroom, Skye laughed and said, "Wouldn't it be funny if the battery on the neural stimulator needs to be re-charged, and the shrunken man is trapped in your gut?"
The two other girls standing in the doorway laughed at this suggestion, as Skye pulled the trigger. Pomona vomited a few seconds later, and Landon came out into the sink. Pomona grabbed him and rinsed him off, then ran and set him back in the habitation chamber, and set it back in the closet in her mother's bedroom.
Macy walked in with the cake box just as Pomona and her three friends entered the living room. Macy set the box down on the dining room table and opened it.
"You girls look like the cat that swallowed the canary," said Macy. "What have you been up to?"
"I showed Landon to them, Mom." said Pomona. Macy immediately went to her room and examined the habitation module. She took out Landon, and noticed that he was wet. Pomona stood in the doorway of Macy's room.
"They won't tell anyone, Mom!" said Pomona.
"Why is Landon wet?" Macy asked.
"I gave him a bath," said Pomona.
"A bath?" Macy asked. "Why would you do that? Pomona, I need answers!"
"Skye dared me to swallow him, so I did, then she used the neural stimulator to make me vomit him back up. I rinsed him off to get the vomit off of him."
"I have to attend a video conference from the living room with Landon in a couple of hours, if my commanding officers find out about this, Landon will get taken away from us!"
"It was just a dare, Mom!" said Pomona. "Landon was completely unharmed!"
"I'm willing to let this slide since it's your birthday, but don't pull a stunt like this again, Pomona!”
"Okay, Mom!" Pomona replied.
After they had cake and ice cream, Pomona opened up her presents. She got a pink and blue backpack from Skye, and some other useful things that were in style at her junior college.
Macy and Landon were supposed to attend a video conference in the living room. The top officials connected with the miniaturization experiment wanted to check up on Landon. During the three minute interview, Landon never mentioned getting swallowed by Pomona. When the video conference was over, Macy was surprised.
"We could've gotten in a lot of trouble over that stunt my daughter pulled, thank you for not reporting us!"
"I don't think Pomona had evil intentions," said Landon. "I think it was peer pressure."
Landon knew he would have many more adventures with this powerful family!