If Jake knew how his day would turn out, he would have probably stayed at home.
At the time he worked at the physics lab of the Matheson's Science Institute, the most prestigious research centre in the City (and, some would say, the entire state). He was a thin man of an average height in his late twenties, his hair dark and cut short, his eyes blue and narrow. Those who knew him personally would say he was passionate about his work, and quote his frequent assurances about him being "at a breakthrough of transportations, logistics and, basically, everything" . Those who worked with him would call him impatient and zealous in regards to the experiments he and his team conducted. Some would go as far as to call him a jerk because of it. But that was only scratching the surface; Jake simply wanted everything to go according to his design, from the timetable of the experiments to when and how their results would be studied. The very thought of an irregularity in his daily schedule or a lack of necessary equipment at hand would irritate him. And, unfortunately for him, that day both of these things happened to him at once. The experiment he planned to conduct was missing one essential component - Nathan, his assistant, who was absent that day and whose presence and expertise were necessary for the experiment. Lacking that, Jake thought of using Nathan's notes but they too were nowhere to be found. The logical conclusion was to visit him at home and obtain either him or his papers. And so, cursing himself for relying on people rather than himself, Jake got into his car and drove towards Nathan's place.
Before he knew it, he was right at his apartment complex, having driven faster than usual. He felt himself irked again and took a few deep breaths before getting out of the car. He was always trying to be a careful driver and not go over the limit, at least in the city. He promised himself to drive slower on his way back. Before he entered the building, he looked himself over in the car's window, checking his white shirt and brown tweed trousers for any stains he might have gotten from the lab. Not finding any, he quickly made his way inside and took a lift to the sixth floor, then checked the address in a notebook he carried on him at all times ("better safe than sorry") before knocking on the door. Then he waited. Then he waited some more. Then he took a few deep breaths again as he felt yet another wave of irritation wash over him and only then did he knock again. He heard footsteps coming from the other side and then the door opened. To his surprise, it wasn't Nathan he was looking at but a very tall, very sleepy girl (for he estimated she was a few years younger than him) who was rubbing one eye and squinting at him with the other.
"Sorry, didn't hear you. You should've rang the bell" she said, and soon after covered her mouth as she yawned. Jake looked to the side, noticing the bell. How could he have missed it? "You need something?"
"What? Oh, yeah. Is Nathan home?"
"Nathan?" she asked, as if hearing the name for the first time in her life. "No, he's at his parents place, in the country. He said his dad was sick or something and he had to spend some time at home... You guys are friends?"
"We work together. When did he leave?"
"What day's today?"
Jake blinked, surprised. "It's Thursday".
"Oh yeah, then he left on Monday. Yeah. He didn't tell you?"
Jake wasn't aware of any absence notice from Nathan. Which, seeing how confused he seemed to be today, could mean there was one and he either ignored it or forgot about it. "I... guess I didn't know. But never mind that, I don't need him, I-"
"That's kinda cold" the girl said, looking down at him through her drowsy, grey eyes.
"Saying you don't need him. I mean, he's your friend, so."
Jake's lips curled up in a polite smile, as he tried to hold his irritation in. He was slowly running out of time and patience. "What I mean is, I don't specifically need him, but his notes. For work. Did he leave something for me?"
"And you are?"
Of course, he thought, I forgot to introduce myself. "I'm Jake. And you must be Nathan's..."
"Roomie. I'm Sam." She took a step back. "Come in, we'll go find your notes."
He entered the apartment and closed the door behind him. He was aware Nathan was living with a roommate, he thought he remembered the name Sam being dropped at one conversation, but he never realized "Sam" was a girl. She was already moving ahead of him, walking slowly in her sleepy state and Jake finally took a closer look at her. She was one head taller than him, which put her well over six feet in height. Her arms, legs, even her neck were long and thin, befitting someone as tall as her. Her choice of attire seemed to raise a few questions with Jake. She was wearing a pair of black leggings, torn in so many places he couldn't decide whether it was fashion or neglect, revealing fair skin beneath them. Over the leggings she wore dark grey shorts and a sleeveless, short tank top in the same colour, her midriff being bare, her flat stomach visible. And then, the hair. Dyed light blue, as if she poured the sky, or at least a cheap energy drink over her head, barely reaching her shoulders, messy. It was clear to Jake she's only just woken up, as if it wasn't the moment he laid eyes on her. He glanced at her bare feet. Large, even larger than his. Suddenly, not knowing why, Jake felt small next to her. He never felt like this before, neither has he been self-conscious about his height. Then again, he never met a girl Sam's height, he concluded. He tried to shake this feeling off as she led him to Nathan's room.
She entered the room first and immediately approached the desk by the window. "Give me a minute, he left some papers here. You want something to drink? Coffee, maybe?"
"No, thank you." Jake looked around the room, impressed by how tidy and organized it was. Even though its occupant was gone for a few days now, he couldn't spot a single grain of dust on the furniture or bookshelves. "I won't be long," he added, turning his attention to Sam, who was standing with her back to him. Even leaning over the desk she looked unnervingly tall to him.
"I'm a poor host, aren't I? Sorry about that, I'm not very awake early in the morning."
"It's one in the afternoon."
"Yeah, early. Oh? Found it!"
She turned with a glee, holding a stack of papers in her hands. As Jake approached her to take them, something grabbed his attention. There in the middle of the desk stood a curious, metallic object, a rod roughly a foot in length, with a coil at its tip. At the bottom was a small console with a dark green touch screen. He knew what it was - they had several such devices at the lab. But what was it doing here?
"What, this?" Sam asked, following his gaze. "Funny thing, isn't it? Nathan called it... Well, I forgot what he called it. Something to do with moles and cooling, I think?"
"Molecules," Jake corrected her, speaking slowly. At this point he was no longer irritated, he was furious and doing his best to not let it show. "It's a molecule regulator."
"What's it do?"
"It..." he started and stopped himself. He couldn't tell her what it did, as it would be a severe breach of security. The technology was experimental and secret and no one outside the lab knew about it. Or rather no one should know. Just the fact that he was staring at it outside the laboratory environment was trouble. For him, for the project, hell - for the whole institute. Then there was the question of how much Sam knew about it. Not much, he hoped, if she couldn't even remember the name right. But he had to check. "Honestly? I don't really know," he turned to her, putting on a fake and (he hoped) convincing enough smile to coax her into talking. "What do you think it does?"
"Oh, I don't know either. But I like the interface," she said and reached out towards the console. Jake froze as he watched her click around, pressing commands she couldn't possibly understand with her long, thin fingers, so fast he couldn't even see what exactly she was clicking on. "Makes me feel like I'm in a sci-fi movie. Like Star Trek. Yeah, they had things like this on Star Trek, remember?"
"Never seen it," Jake admitted, his eyes still glued to the console.
"I used to watch it when I was little."
"You sure you don't want some coffee? You seem kinda tense."
Yes. Buy some time. "Sure, why not? Please." Another fake smile. He watched her leave the room and turned his gaze back to the device as soon as she was gone. It couldn't stay here, this much was obvious. And if Sam was ignorant about its purpose, all the better. He could take it back to the lab, stash it in the back with the rest, no one would ever know. No one would ever notice it was gone. For a moment Jake forgot about the notes, about Nathan, about any experiment he had scheduled for today or anything else for that matter, the only thing occupying his mind was to safely take the regulator back to its intended place. As he was about to grab it he realized he was hearing something, a low humming coming from the device and he froze once more, his hands in the air. And then he blinked and the world slipped away.
He was somewhere else and yet he wasn't. It took him a moment to realize where, what happened, whether out of shock or disbelief. But eventually it all became evident. He was staring at the desk from the floor, except the former looked several hundred feet tall and the latter seemed to stretch for miles behind him. He didn't know whether to laugh or to scream. He shrank. How could it be possible? Of course, technically it was - he was currently a proof of that. The scariest thing of it all was the scale, the fact how utterly minuscule he was right now. He wasn't a foot tall, he wasn't four inches tall, he wasn't even one inch tall. Judging by his surroundings Jake realized he was no bigger than half an inch in height - and barely. And then came the tremors, without warning, without a time to prepare. A series of low, booming noises coming from afar, getting closer and louder until he finally saw Sam's silhouette in the doorway. Nothing could prepare him for the sight unfolding before him. She was huge, colossal, mind-bogglingly enormous and as she entered the room the floor under Jake shook with each step her giant feet made as she walked. And even though he could clearly see she was moving towards him, he was paralyzed, unable to even budge. Fortunately for him the giantess eventually stopped, just an inch or two from where he was standing. By then it became even more apparent just how tiny he had become: her feet were the size of islands, her big toe was taller than him, even the smallest of her toes seemed to dwarf him now. Compared to Sam, he was an insect.
"Gone already?" a thunder boomed far, far above him. Her voice, spoken at a normal tone, was now unnaturally loud to him, even though he was so far away from her lips. "Oh well."
He watched her colossal feet turn before him and carry the rest of her impossibly enormous body with them, her deafening footsteps shaking the ground. And without a second thought Jake started to run after her.