The title says it all. P.S.---Now, officially, a prequel to INVASION OF THE BATON TWIRLERS FROM OUTER SPACE.
, Instant Size Change Characters:
Lilliputian (6 in. to 3 in.)Size Roles:
July 25 2013 Updated:
September 09 2013
1. Chapter 1 by Carycomic
2. Chapter 2 by Carycomic
3. Chapter 3 by Carycomic
4. Chapter 4 by Carycomic
5. Chapter 5 by Carycomic
6. Chapter 6 by Carycomic
7. Chapter 7 by Carycomic
I wish my head would stop drabbling up new story ideas while I've still got so many wip's gathering mold and mildew.
* * * * *
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE,
DAYTON, OHIO, USA.
Ira C. McCoy (Major General, USAF, Office of Special Investigations) sat down and looked at the nervous second lieutenant before him.
"Alright, lieutenant. Let's cut to the chase."
The younger man jumped as the general pounded the white enamel-painted desk top with his right fist.
"WHOSE ASININE IDEA WAS IT TO SEND THAT THING VIA THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE, INSTEAD OF USING ONE OF OUR REGULAR VETTED COURIERS?!"
"Well, sir, it was--ahem!--it was the SOTAF's office.* "
"At the end of last year's fiscal period, sir, an interdepartmental memo came down from the Assistant Sec-Def ICO Finance, via the Comptroller of the SOTAF's office. A memo listing several cost-cutting measures that were to be implemented (and I quote) 'effective immediately. If not sooner!' End quote. And, one of those measures made it mandatory to send _all_ personal correspondence through the regular mail."
The general's voice softened to a harsh, rather sarcastic whisper.
"Did that same measure _require_ classifying ultra-top secret material as regular mail?"
"Uh, no sir. Not eactly."
"THEN, _WHY_ EXACTLY DID YOU DO SO?"
"B-B-Because I was ordered to, sir!"
"Ordered by whom?"
"Capt. Errol Blaine, sir. My immediate CO."
"And, you didn't find that puzzling in the least?"
"Yes, sir, I confess I did. But, when I voiced my concerns aloud, the captain said he was merely following his own orders."
"Orders from whom?"
"From what he called an unquestionable source in the Pentagon, sir."
"Let me get this straight. This 'unquestionable source' ordered your commanding officer to send ultra-top secret material...disguised as parcel post???"
"Yes, sir. That's what I was told."
"I see. And, where is Capt. Blaine, at present?"
"He was recalled to Washington, just before your arrival, sir. Although, he told me that he wasn't at liberty to divulge the precise destination!"
The general sighed, and massaged his face with the palms of both his hands, before resuming.
"Very well, lieutenant. You're dismissed. But, remember: you are _not_ to repeat this discussion, outside this room, to anyone. NO EXCEPTIONS!"
"Sir! Yes, sir!"
The lieutenant saluted the general, and vice-versa, before leaving the sound-proof conference room. Whereupon, the older officer looked at the slightly younger man, in the midnight-black business suit, standing against the left-hand wall of the room.
"What do you think, Steve?"
Special Agent Steven Hughes (Defense Intelligence Agency) removed his sunglasses and put them in his left lapel pocket. Revealing blue eyes that complemented his wavy black hair.
"Permission to speak freely, general?"
"I think this is what the late George Carlin would've described as a royal Mongolian cluster-frig! Because of one ill-advised precaution, and one hung-over mail man, what was supposed to go to the Pentagon via Major Ed Lyon in Dover, Delaware, is now in the hands of a _majorette line_ in Dover, Ohio! I can only imagine how nonplussed the Joint Chiefs must have been to get a box full of hula hoop-mounted batons fringed with tinsel."
"Heh!" the general ruefully chuckled: "They looked like they'd each been proctologized with an icicle! You've got to get that thing back, Steve. It's the most priceless piece of UFO tech we've ever salvaged."
Agent Hughes smiled: "In the lieutenant's immortal words; 'Sir! Yes, sir!' "
*SOTAF: Secretary of the Air Force.
Sec-Def: Secretary of Defense.
ICO: In Charge Of.
CO: commanding officer.
This chapter is dedicated to the late, great Michael Crichton.
* * * * *
It had all started when an Aeroflot jetliner was hijacked by Chechin terrorists while en route from Moscow to Las Vegas, Nevada, via Anchorage, Alaska. The plane had been traversing Canadian airspace when they struck. And the terrorist leader had just ordered the pilot to fly to a certain set of coordinates, in Mexico, when the plane suddenly began to nose-dive. Straight toward Mount Rainier, Washington!
There were no survivors.
The FBI and the NTSB ultimately told the press that the crash had been caused by some high-flying bird of prey (like a falcon or a golden eagle) being inadvertently sucked into one of the jetliner's turbofan engines. But, in reality, something else had been responsible! Something that had been found by army engineers from Fort Lewis, Washington, while aiding local National Guard units with body-recovery at the crash site.
In shape, it was a perfectly round sphere about the size of an Olympic shot-put. Yet, it was as light as a feather. And, though it initially appeared to be made of stainless steel, its surface actually rippled whenever touched. Like water on a sheet of mirrored glass!
Naturally, the sphere was transferred to Area 51, with the utmost speed and discretion, for further examination. Unfortunately, the outer shell of the sphere proved more impervious to X-rays than any sheet of lead. So, an industrial-strength laser had been brought in to slice off a piece of that strange material for spectroscopic analysis. But, the sphere not only absorbed the laser beam. It also fired it back. Right at the Air Force technician handling the laser beam projector's controls!
It instantly shrank him to six inches in height.
Consequently, the sphere was ordered transferred to DARPA headquarters in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, someone at the Pentagon became a little _too_ paranoid about the lay-over time at Wright-Patterson. Someone who could never have anticipated that the guest of honor at a certain bachelor party, in Dayton, Ohio, made his living as a mail sorter.
And that was the reason Steve Hughes was now en route to Dover High School in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.
"Dogpound to Retriever," announced a voice over his cellular headset: "Dogpound to Retriever. Do you copy? Over."
Steve turned on the wi-fi-compatible scrambler before responding.
"Retriever to Dogpound. Copy you, loud and clear. Over."
"Dogpound to Retriever. We have the requested info on that majorette line. It's made up of two seniors and six juniors. Captain Danielle C------. Co-captain Olivia B----. First Lieutenant Amy H----------. Feature twirler Anna C-------. And cadets Katherine M-----, Alison M-----, Kathleen L-----, and Megan C--. Collectively known as 'the Silver Cyclones.' Over."
"Heh!" replied Steve (temporarily breaking commo protocol): "Sounds more like the name of an aerobatic jet squadron!"
"Roger that," acknowledged the other voice (with an understanding chuckle): "Dogpound; over and out."
It was precisely at this point that Steve's rental car passed by a sign reading:
"WELCOME TO DOVER, OHIO"
Half an hour later, he pulled into the parking lot of the local Motel Six and registered for a room.
* * * * *
Steve unlocked the door to Room 428, and then just as quickly shut and locked it. Before he even began unpacking, he was reporting in to his handler back in Washington.
"Retriever to Dogpound. Retriever to Dogpound. Do you copy? Over."
"Dogpound to Retriever. Copy you, loud and clear. Over."
"Retriever to Dogpound. I'm in. Repeat; I am in! Though, I must confess, I would have preferred a poolside room at the local Knight's Inn. Over."
"Dogpound to Retriever. Negative. Repeat: negative! Your cover identity only comes with civil service salary. And that is not well-known for bringing home many 'Beggin' Strips,' if you catch my drift. Over!"
Steve laughed: "Roger that, Dogpound. As soon as I'm fully situated, I'll go visit the high school. Where is its Music Department? Over."
Dogpound gave him the directions. Adding, however, that the marching band was probably not indoors right at that moment.
"They'll most likely be outdoors, getting ready for the upcoming Canal Days festivities. Over."
"Acknowledged, Dogpound. This is Retriever. Over and out!"
As it happened, the band was preparing for more than just Canal Days (which annually commemorated the town's first years of prosperity courtesy of the Ohio and Erie Canal). They were in the parking lot, behind the high school, also getting ready for Twins Days--in Twinsburg, Ohio--and the Matsuricon anime convention in Columbus. The latter would see them debuting a dance called "Gundam Style" (a parody of "Gangnam Style" by Korean one-hit wonder, Psy). And, they wanted to get it as close to perfect as possible!
Right now, though, they were rehearsing their own version of "Tusk," which had first been made famous by the USC Marching Trojans and Fleetwood Mac. Steve, viewing this dress rehearsal through binoculars, could not help admiring the Silver Cyclones. Not only because of their choreography (which he could only describe as a brilliant cross between the precision high-kicks of the Radio City Rockettes and the Monkee Shuffle). But, also, because they looked just plain, smoking-hot gorgeous in their curvaceous, sleeveless, silver sequined leotards (with matching wrist bands and white pom-pom festooned boots)!
Then he shook his head.
"Mind on the job!" he muttered: "Mind on the job! You're old enough to be their...older brother."
He waited until the band leader had allowed everyone a ten-minute break, before getting out of his rental car (a Kia Soul), and walking over to the majorettes.
"Danielle C------?" he asked of the brunette with a dark-green head band: "I'm Steven Hughes; postal inspector. Dayton office."
She examined his carefully fabricated credentials as she toweled her neck with her right hand, before sipping from a bottle of spring water with her left.
"What can I do for you, Mr. Hughes?"
"I'm afraid there was a recent mix-up in the mail out of Dayton. And that you and your...teammates recently received a package that should have gone to Washington. I'm here to get it back."
"You mean that silly-looking paperweight?"
"Ah! Then, you did get it! Yes, that's exactly the one I mean."
"It's over in my VW mini-bus. Follow me!"
"Gladly," Steve replied (with a sly grin).
"By the way," she said (as she leaned her upper torso forward through the mini-bus' side door): "What about our stuff?"
"You mean, the fringed hoop batons? They're en route back here, even as we speak."
Even as he gave that well-rehearsed reply, Steve was busy ogling those great legs of hers. Which, quite naturally, distracted him from noticing the the other majorettes sneaking up behind him (with the mini-bus' foul weather tarpaulin) until it was too late.
It descended over him like a net! And, before he could start struggling to whip it off, all eight of the baton-twirling beauties had surrounded him. Causing his arms to be pinned to his side. And, thereby, preventing him from being able to hold his breath against the chloroform-soaked underside!
Within seconds, he was lying down on the floor of the mini-bus' rear compartment. With the Silver Cyclones immobilizing him with gray duct tape.
* * * * *
The rest of the band saw the majorettes milling around the side door of Danielle's mini-bus. But, they did not suspect anything was amiss. Partially, because the tarpaulin had been doubling as a "carrying case" for the girls' giant pom-poms. That is; the over-sized balls of multi-colored confetti that they would soon be shaking and waving up, down, and around for the dress rehearsal of "Brick House" (originally popularized by the Commodores).
And, partially, because the young men of the band were too busy ogling the majorette's legs and backsides to pay any attention to what they were doing from the waist up!
In any event, once the second half of dress rehearsal was over, the Silver Cyclones hurriedly stowed those giant pom-poms atop the duct-taped tarp. Concealing the captive beneath it. Then, they all piled into the mini-bus, which subsequently headed eastward.
Nor did they stop for anything but red lights (and stop signs) prior to reaching a green-and-white sign that read:
"Welcome To Roswell, Ohio."
A hundred yards or so past this sign, the mini-bus turned left on to a dirt road. After passing through a short stretch of woods, the dirt road petered out into a pair of tractor-made ruts with a dividing line of grass between them. Here, Danielle stopped the mini-bus and looked back towards the pile of pom-poms...which was starting to quiver. And, make strange noises!
"Gfffff mmmmph ufff-ufff hrmmmmmph! GFFFF MMMMMMMPH UFFF-UFFF HRMMMMMPH!"
Danielle giggled: "OK, Anna. You heard the man. Get him out of there!"
The blonde feature twirler, with the dark purple headband, smiled and did as instructed. First, by moving aside the pom-poms. And, then, by peeling off all the pieces of gray duct tape. That second part, with ccnsiderable help from Olivia B----(with the pink headband), Cathy M-----(with the light purple headband), and Kathy L-----(with the yellow head band).
After that, all eight of the girls dragged the tarp out of the mini-bus. Then, they each grabbed one side of the tarp and lifted it upward. Unceremoniously dumping a still groggy Agent Hughes back on to the ground!
"Wha-What...the frig?" he stammered: "Are you...g-girls...crazy? I'm...!"
"A Federal agent for the DIA," interrupted Danielle: "Yes, Mr. Hughes. We know."
Steve was aghast: "B-But...how...?"
"It's quite simple," replied Olivia.
"It read your mind," added Anna.
"The very first moment you got within range of us," concluded the other five (in perfect unison).
It was at this point that Steve thought he might be experiencing some kind of hallucinogenic side-effect to the chloroform. Because, he could swear that some kind of facial outline was beginning to form on each of the girls' silver leotards!
With a nose and mouth emerging just below the eyes that opened at chest-level.
"You heard correctly, Mr. Hughes," said each of those faces: "We read your mind. We are the 'piece of UFO tech' you were sent to retrieve. But, you are too late! We have already bonded to these young ladies by blending in with their conveniently matching costumes!! And, soon, you will be their little pet."
Whereupon, the Silver Cyclones raised their batons, as one. But, not to twirl them. Rather, to point them at Steve, instead. And, before he could clear his head enough to try and spring to his feet and escape, eight pencil-thin beams of white light shot out and enveloped him. Shrinking him down to six inches tall!
Just like the poor schlep at Area 51.
* * * * *
For the second time, within twelve hours, Steve had blacked out. When he came to, he saw that he was once again flat on his back. Only, the eight baton twirlers who had captured him with such ridiculous ease now appeared to be one hundred feet all, each!
"What the frig...?" he began to exclaim.
"For lack of a better term, Mr. Hughes," replied the majorettes (in unison with the face-like projections on their leotards): "...call it 'ionic transference.' By giving your body's molecular structure more anions (or negatively-charged ions) than cations (or positively-charged ions), we can shrink you. To re-enlarge you, we merely reverse the process! A trifle over-simplified, perhaps. But, we doubt your current intellectual development could grasp a more detailed explanation!"
"And, you can read minds, too?" Steve replied: "So, what am I thinking, right now?"
"Heh!" the Silver Cyclones: "We could answer that _without_ reading your mind. You want to know our origin! Quite simple, really. We're an artificially intelligent space probe from a planet orbiting a brown dwarf companion of the star your astronomers call 'Celaeno.' The so-called 'Bashful Sister' of the Pleiades!"
"We were the ones who crash-landed in the Tunguska River region of Russia in the summer of 1908. The result of colliding with a Beta Taurid meteorite! Our impact with the Earth disintegrated our bio-metallic shell into thousands of micro-particles that eventually flowed downriver and out to sea. Becoming a part of (and ascending upward through) the Arctic Ocean food chain, until we ultimately reconstituted inside a sperm whale, captured by a Soviet-era whaling ship, in 1976."
"As we were clearly not ambergris, the mystified captain of the ship turned us over to the Soviet Navy. And they, thinking we might be some new kind of American spy satellite, sent us to the scientific establishment code-named 'Zvyodzny Gorodok' (or 'Star City')."
"There we stayed, well past the end of the Cold War, until our theft by a former Russian double-agent of the CIA. His daughter was in dire need of a kidney transplant. And he thought he might be able to buy her one, on the black market, using us. As he was under the impression that we were a meteorite of pure silver!"
"It was shortly after the hijacking of the ill-fated airliner he snuck us aboard that a miracle happened. We made contact with members of our original builder's race!!"
"We psychotronically explained our predicament to them. And they replied to us that the mission for which we had originally been programmed was now irrelevant. That they would give us a new directive to implement. The ultimate goal of which is quite logical to us. Given all we have observed, first hand, of your various war-like cultures, these past hundred Earth-years!"
"We are going to help unify the human race as it's never been unified before. Under the leadership and guidance of young ladies, such as these. For of all Earth's peoples, it is only majorettes who seem to possess the discipline and unity of purpose needed to keep the rest of you from destroying yourselves!"
"And, with you, specifically, soon to be in their thrall, that goal is one step closer to achievement."
* * * * *
Steve glared upward at the silver-clad giantesses who made this pronouncement. He wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, and automatically assume they were just speaking under the influence of the alien device they had accidentally received. But, even if that were true, there was no way he would willingly betray his country. Let alone, the whole world!
And that defiant thought was quite easily picked up the Silver Cyclones...who smiled, accordingly.
"We were hoping you would think that."
Steve, sensing trouble, instinctively sprang to his feet and started to run. But, he had momentarily forgotten that he had been shrunk! Consequently, he found himself slowed down by the waist-high barriers formed in his path by the wrinkles in the now giant-sized tarpaulin. These, in turn, allowed the eight baton twirlers to stride around the tarp. Half to the left and half to the right.
Completely surrounding him, in the process.
The facial formations that had done most of the talking for the girls, up to this point, now receded back into obscurity. Letting the majorettes once more address each other in the singular.
"Anna?" said Danielle: "Would you do the honor of starting off?"
"I'd love to!" she exclaimed.
Whereupon, she strode toward Steve. Her white boot heels causing movements in the rubbery material that might have been slight enough to be ignored from her viewpoint. But, from Steve's miniaturized vantage point, it was like trying to stay on his feet while playing hockey on a frozen pond during an earthquake!
As a result, he was laying flat on his back when the blonde feature twirler scooped him up in both hands, and took him back to the VW mini-bus. There, she transferred him to underneath her right armpit (face-first), so she could have both hands free for tearing off a relatively small piece of the aforementioned gray duct tape!
Had he still been normal size, it would have wrapped three-quarters of the way around his head in gagging him. At his current size, however, it acted more like a full-body straight jacket...as she began binding him to the center of her baton.
The shrunken DIA agent struggled frantically. But, it was no use! The moment Anna rejoined the Silver Cyclones, they began to hum the Dover High School Fight Song. Whereupon, all eight majorettes began twirling their batons, individually.
Steve was dizzy, almost immediately, what with all the figure-eight spins Anna was putting him through. To say nothing of the baton being passed under each of her legs. But, it did not end there, as Anna suddenly tossed the baton to her left!
Consequently, her baton was caught by Amy H---------- (with the light green head band), even as Anna caught the baton tossed to her, from her right, by Cathy M-----. When this had been accomplished, Amy put Anna's baton through the same pattern, before tossing it to Olivia, who then tossed it to Danielle, who tossed it to Megan C-- (with the orange head band), followed by Kathy L-----, Alison M----- (with the blue head band), and finally back to Anna via Cathy M-----.
Altogether, Steve was twirled, juggled, and tossed for about twenty minutes. When they were done, Anna removed him from her baton by peeling off the duct tape. Unfortunately, for him, the adhesive side also peeled off all his shrunken clothes, in the process. Leaving him just his white boxer shorts!
"What do you think, Dani?" Anna asked: "Should we leave him a _little_ dignity?"
Dani looked at the other six: "Girls?"
Their response was unanimous
Subsequently, it was a stark-naked, half foot-tall Steven Hughes who wound up being stuffed up above the hem line of Anna's leotard's right leg hole.
* * * * *
When Steve regained consciousness, the first thing he realized is that he was in a burlap pouch of some kind. Not all of him! Just everything from the neck down. His head was the only thing sticking out. He then noticed that he seemed to be in a big, empty aquarium. As big to him as RFK Stadium! Yet, only three of its sides were made of clear glass. The fourth side (facing the back wall of whatever room he was in) seemed to have been tinted extra opaque.
As to the pouch, itself? It was roomy enough that he could sit up in it. But, getting to his feet proved slightly more difficult. And, running or walking was simply out of the question! The best he would be able to do is hop like a kangaroo...or shuffle like the Little Old Man played by Tim Conway.
"So, you're finally awake."
Steve whipped his head to his right. There, in an aquarium similar to his, sitting upright in his own burlap pouch, was an African-American male about thirty years of age. Give or take five.
"I'm Steve Hughes; DIA. Who are you, and where are we?"
"I'm Errol Blaine; captain (USAF). As to your second question...?"
Steve, however, cut him off with a third question.
"Capt. Blaine of Wright-Patterson? But, I thought you'd been called to the Pentagon by an 'unquestionable source!' "
"You must have talked to Lt. Jorgensen," replied Blaine: "And, what he told you was true...for the most part. You see, as soon as I got off the plane at Langley Airbase, this government limo with tinted glass pulls up beside me. The tech sergeant driving it gets out and opens the right-side passenger door for me. He salutes me; I salute him; and, as soon as I slide into the back seat, who do I see waiting for me but my old Air Force Academy classmate, Ed Lyon."
"And, with him, was a baton twirler from my dad's old alma mater; West Virginia University."
Subsequently, there had come a flash of white light. Followed by unconsciousness. When Blaine reawoke, he had found himself in the exact same condition that Steve now did. Except for one difference.
"All eight of those silver-clad cuties were smiling down at me. Explaining how that silver shot-put was some kind of A.I. space probe from another planet. How it was contacted, in Star City, Russia, by people from its homeworld. How it tricked a former Company mole to smuggle it state-side, with the help of mercenaries posing as Chechen terrorists. And how I was now going to join their cause!"
Steve nodded: "Yeah; that's the same gobbledy-gook they tried to feed me. But, I don't intend to swallow it, anymore than you have."
Suddenly, there was an electronic hum from the tinted glass wall of both aquariums. Thereby revealing that they were actually flat-screen TV's!
"Goooooooooooood morning, Dover High!" screamed a high-pitched voice (trying--unsuccessfully--to sound like Robin Wiliams): "WDHS, in co-operation with PBS, brings you...'Twirlercise!' Starring our own Silver Cyclones."
Sure enough; the very girls who had taken Steve captive appeared on the screen. Smiling just like beauty pageant winners.
"Hello, everybody," said their captain, Danielle: "Let's start off easy...with some sit-ups."
All eight majorettes then lay down, flat on their backs. Sitting up on every multiple of two to touch their knees with their elbows. And, much to Steve's horror...
...Capt. Blaine was sitting up along with them.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.