Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Laura and Yumiko stared at the display screen on their invention in silence. Lines of diagnostics text flashed and vanished repeatedly as the software booted up and configured itself. The seconds ticked by slowly, lengthened by the two women's shared anticipation and anxiety. When the diagnostics completed and the system menu appeared reporting no errors, Laura smiled and glanced at her research partner.
Yumiko was a petite young woman, one head shorter than Laura and a few years younger. She had an unassuming appearance; straight black hair kept neatly cut at the shoulders with blunt bangs covering her forehead. But beneath this plain exterior was one of the most brilliant minds Laura had ever worked with. The shrink ray the two stood behind now was actually Yumiko's idea originally, but she wasn't able to convince anyone it was possible. Her youth and inexperience prejudiced people against her and she had trouble bringing the idea to life herself.
Laura heard about the "crazy" shrink ray idea while submitting a grant proposal of her own. Intrigued, she got in touch with Yumiko and listened to her ideas. Some of it pushed the boundaries of known physics, but nothing about it sounded completely outrageous when it was all taken together. Using her reputation, Laura was able to acquire some discretionary funding and set to work with Yumiko on making the shrink ray a reality. It had consumed all of their funding and taken months of constant work to put it together and program the operating system, but now it was sitting in front of them, ready to be tested.
The shrink ray was mounted upon a tripod, as it was far too heavy and unwieldy to be carried around, let alone used by hand. The device itself was a metal box about the size of a loaf of bread with a small tube extending out the front. On the rear was an angled monitor flanked by several unlabeled switches, knobs, and lights.
"Well," Laura said, "moment of truth." Yumiko looked up from the monitor and gave Laura a smile and a small nod. They both turned their gazes to their test subject -- a broken, dated refrigerator from a couple decades ago. They found it in the basement of the small lab they were using the develop the shrink ray. Not only was it worthless, making it an ideal subject for an untested matter-altering device, but it was large and heavy. If the shrink ray worked, they would finally have an easy way to dispose of the piece of junk. Yumiko set to work adjusting the various knobs and switches to configure the device's power and targeting parameters.
"It's ready," she said after a moment, "want to do the honors?"
"Gladly," replied Laura, looking back down at the monitor. All the lights on the sides were green. The device was set to half power and the image of the derelict fridge sat in the targetting box. Everything looked to be in order. Laura took a deep breath and pressed the large red button beneath the monitor.
At first, nothing happened. Then, the lights in the room briefly dimmed as the device suddenly started to emit a low hum. After a couple seconds, the hum rose in pitch until it was a faint electric whine. Then,
A flash of blue white light accompanied by an unexpectedly quiet electrical crackling sound. Laura blinked a few times, stunned, before realizing the fridge was no longer in front of the ray. Excitement filled her gut as she lowered her gaze to the ground, hardly daring to believe it. Her eyes came to rest a small black speck on the ground.
"Oh my God," Laura whispered, "it worked!" The two women stepped around their invention and knelt down to examine the miniaturized fridge. It was surreal to behold. The fridge appeared undamaged, unchanged, aside from being reduced to slightly larger than a confectionary sprinkle.
"Is it okay to touch it?" Laura asked. Yumiko was staring at the fridge with pure wonder and delight evident on her usually serious-looking face, "Yumiko?" Laura asked again, breaking her partner out of her reverie.
"Go ahead," Yumiko replied, "let me know if you notice anything unusual." Laura reached out and attempted to lift the fridge between her index finger and thumb. As she gently pressed squeezed it, the fridge violently buckled with a barely audible snapping sound. The bottom door popped off its hinge and fell onto the ground.
"Oh!" Laura yelped in surprise, looking over at Yumiko for a reaction, "I... I crushed it. I didn't even squeeze that hard!" Yumiko laughed quietly.
"I suppose that takes care of the disposal," she said as she looked at Laura, "sorry, I should have warned you that could happen."
Laura looked back at the tiny metal wreckage between her fingers and let it drop on the ground like a broken toy. The device worked. Now they just needed a buyer.
After a few unsuccessful attempts to garner interest, Laura was finally able to find a prospective buyer for the shrink ray. Mary walked behind Laura as they entered the lab, dressed in a backless, strapless red minidress that was surely as expensive as it was revealing. Her massive breasts bounched in time with her wavy, long blonde hair with each step she took, accompanied by a distinct loud "click" from her matching red heels. At 5'6", Laura was about average and in fact was used to feeling a bit tall since she was always standing beside the petite Yumiko, but she felt like Mary towered over her.
"Clearly a trophy wife," Laura thought bitterly to herself when she first saw Mary emerging from a limousine in front of the laboratory. Still, regardless of the means, Mary was quite wealthy and seemed interested in the idea of a working shrink ray.
"So, can I like, shrink anything with this thing?" Mary asked chipperly as she followed Laura to the lab proper.
"We're still doing a lot of testing," Laura explained, "it seems like it works consistently no matter what you use it on. Everything we've shrunk so far remains fully funcional and seems completely unchanged when we restore it to its original size."
"Er," Laura cleared her throat, "yes. It works on anything. But we haven't tested it with anything organic-- like plants, or animals."
"Oh, okay!" Mary responded brightly.
"I hope she doesn't think our invention is a toy!" Laura thought as she clenched her teeth. Still, even if she did it was fine as long as they got some money invested in the project and won a client who could demonstrate its use to other prospective buyers.
Laura opened the door to the lab, finding it vacant aside from the shrink ray which was pointed slightly to the left of the door. It seemed Yumiko was running a little late.
"Here it is," she said to Mary, "I'm going to go get it set up. My partner should be here soon with the test object." Laura walked over to the control panel and noticed that it was already powered on.
"Knowing Yumiko, she probably already calibrated it." Laura thought, but she still ran through the checklist herself just to be sure. Lost in focus, she almost didn't notice Mary bending over in front of the device to stare directly down the aperature at the front.
"Um," Laura said uncertainly, attempting to not stare at her buyer's colossal cleavage, "you probably shouldn't stand directly in front of the device."
"Oh!" Mary stood up and laughed, "yeah, I guess so!"
"Here, just come stand beside me."
"Okay!" Mary obligingly walked over and stood beside Laura, leaning over slightly to look over the scientist's shoulder while she worked on the calibrations. Laura tried her best to stay focused on her work. True to her expectations, everything already seemed properly calibrated aside from the finer adjustments that would have to wait until the target was in position. Satisfied, she looked up from the monitor at Mary.
"Any other questions?" she asked.
"Yeah!" Mary suddenly flung her arm out to point at the monitor "What's-- oops!" In her quick motion, Mary's finger had made contact with the red firing button. Laura's heart skipped a beat, but she reminded herself that the device was equipped with a failsafe that prevented it from activating without a target in sight.
"Careful!" Laura snapped, but before she could continue with her admonishment, the lights flickered and a familiar low hum filled the air. Feeling an icy sensation in her gut, she looked at the screen and saw the familiar blinking warnings indicating imminent device activation. The hum rose into a high-pitched whine just before the blue-white flash.
Yumiko saw the lights flicker in the basement.
"Oh," she wondered, "is the buyer already here?" She turned away from the dusty old bookshelf she was about to bring up to demonstrate the shrink ray with. If the device had been activated, then either it was a malfunction she needed to immediately investigate, or the buyer had already arrived and Laura had found another suitable test target. She quickly walked up the stairs and towards the lab.
Mary blinked a few times, disoriented. Her eyes seemed to be having trouble focusing after the flash of light. After a moment, the world came into focus and Mary gasped. Beside her, as tall as a skyscraper, stood the shrink ray that just moments ago she had to look down at. The floor of the lab stretched out to a dizzying distance in every direction, each tile the size of a small city block.
She had been shrunk.
"Laura?" Mary looked around in confusion and fear, "Laura? Hey! What happened? Where are you?" She had been standing right beside the scientist a moment ago, but now she was nowhere to be found.
Dazed, Mary began to walk uncertainly towards the door. She had a vague sense she needed to leave, to find help. Anxiety gripped her heart as she realized the walk to the door would take several minutes at her new size. She quickened her pace.
A loud THUD reverberated through the air.
It was the doorknob. The sound was like a roll of thunder to the now diminuitive Mary and it stopped her in her tracks. Dumbstruck, the shapely blonde watched as the monolithic door opened and revealed a towering woman in a labcoat. At her normal height, Yumiko would have only come up to around the height of Mary's huge breasts. But now, Yumiko was like Godzilla compared to her. No -- bigger than Godzilla. Not even Godzilla could flatten entire city blocks with a single step.
The woman was looking far over Mary, at the building-size shrink ray. Looking slightly perplexed, she began walking towards it. Each step she took shook the ground like an earthquake and brought her closer at an incredible speed. Mary had never seen such a powerful being in her life. Yumiko's movements appeared unnaturally graceful as her titanic legs moved through the air with a deep "woooosh" and her feet slammed into the ground with a deafening boom.
Yumiko was closing in alarmingly fast towards the stupified Mary. She willed her legs to move but just before she could attempt to get out of the way, Yumiko's foot slammed into the ground again and caused Mary to lose her balance and topple backwards. Blinking, Mary saw the bottom of Yumiko's shoe encompassing the entire sky above her. As it came down, Mary screamed as loud as she possibly could in pure terror.
If Yumiko had been able to hear it, Mary's scream would have sounded comical. A desperate, high-pitched squeal of a cartoon mosquito. But Mary was far too small -- her desperate scream was far fainter than the background hum of the lights in the room and barely traveled far enough to be audible above Yumiko's ankles. Mary's voluptuous body was instantly reduced to a fine red paste beneath Yumiko's shoe.
Yumiko, completely unaware that she had just killed a woman about her age, stepped around the shrink ray and examined the monitor. Interestingly, despite the room being empty, the readout seemed to indicate the device had been activated.
"Strange, there's not even a target." Before she could speculate, Yumiko noticed something moving on one of the switches. Thinking it a bug, Yumiko leaned in to get a better look.
Laura desperately clung to the switch. The lab floor was far below her, seemingly hundreds of floors down. After the device activated, Laura found herself draped over the switch. Normally the switch was small enough to be flicked by her finger, but now it was roughly the size of a sewage pipe. Realizing what had happened, she attempted to stand up but quickly lost her balance and nearly fell.
The thundering sounds of her research partner entering the room were confusing to her as she attempted to climb back up on the switch. Was Mary leaving to get help? She couldn't be certain -- trying to avoid falling to her death had consumed all of her attention since realizing she'd been shrunk. Finally pulling herself back up, Laura sat down and panted with exhaustion for a moment before she registered something huge moving in the distance to her side. Looking over, Laura beheld the gigantic bust of Yumiko.
Yumiko was not especially well endowed, but at Laura's new size, each of her research partner's breasts appeared like mountains moving through the sky towards her. Laura had never been near a creature so large in her life. Fearful, she drew her gaze upward and looked at Yumiko's face. Slight confusion was evident on her face and she apparently didn't notice Laura sitting atop one of the switches on the face of the device. Instinctively, Laura began crawling backwards away from the titanic monster that moments ago had been her friend and fellow scientist.
But this motion made her visible. With a blink of her colossal eyelids that sounded like a distant "thud" to the tiny Laura, Yumiko's enormous eyes captured Laura in their gaze. Laura gasped and froze in terror. She tried to remind herself that Yumiko was a trusted friend but the size difference made it impossible. Yumiko leaned in and Laura let out a surprised shriek as she covered her head.
Yumiko gently gasped when she realized what she was looking at. It was Laura. The shrink ray worked on organic matter too! All circumstance forgotten, Yumiko smiled and looked at Laura with wonder. From Laura's perspective, the gentle gasp of her friend was like a distant roar of a storm, but it was nothing compared to what came next.
"Laura?" Yumiko asked quietly. To Laura, it was a deafening crash of thunder. Yumiko's normally high and quiet voice was like a deep explosion, completely indecipherable. Laura curled up further and covered her ears from the noise, screaming.
"Hold on, I can change you back." Yumiko said to try and calm her friend down. It was hard to tell what Laura was doing at this new size but she could faintly hear some high-pitched squeaks of some sort coming from her. Yumiko realized that at her new size, Laura's voice would be much quieter and higher-pitched.
"Just hold still, I've got you." Yumiko said as she raised her arm and slowly extended her finger and thumb towards Laura's tiny form.
The latest series of explosions having ceased, Laura tentatively opened her eyes and sat up slowly. Something huge was coming towards her. Yumiko's aircraft carrier-sized index finger and thumb were approaching on either side of her. Fear gripped Laura's gut.
"Oh no," Laura began to shout as she remembered the refrigerator, "Yumiko! Stop! Please stop, Yumiko! YOU'LL CRUSH ME!"
Yumiko stifled a giggle as Laura sat up and began emitting more faint squeaks. She figured Laura was just trying to yell a thank you or an explanation that was coming across like a quiet cartoon sound effect. It didn't occur to her that Laura was desperately shouting as loud as she could to stop Yumiko from inadvertantly killing her.
"It's okay, Laura," Yumiko cooed quietly as she gently began closing her finger and thumb together. Laura curled up again and screamed in terror as the canyon of Yumiko's fingers closed in on either side of her, enveloping her in darkness. She briefly experienced an immense pressure.
The comical high-pitched squealing coming from Laura abruptly ceased as Yumiko felt her friend's tiny body pop between her fingers like a small berry.
"Oh!" Yumiko choked out, stunned, as she separated her fingers and saw a tiny red splotch on each of them. Her gentle grab had completely obliterated Laura's body.