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Author's Chapter Notes:

I started this story in 2000 when I was a college student at a junior college. I’ve worked on it off and on, but decided to edit it and make it presentable so I can turn it into a graphic novel. I’ve altered the first chapter from the original version so Deuce is with Amber in the opening scenes. I’ve also made him immortal, with no need for food or water.

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Chapter One: The Lab Accident!

Deuce Orion was six millimeters tall, and he was trapped in a drawer of the desk belonging to a normal-sized girl he did not know. She was sitting at the desk, doing her homework. He had no choice but to get her attention; if he didn't, he could end up trapped in the desk drawer indefinitely. He grabbed some paper clips, and threw them around, and shouted up at the girl. Eventually, the commotion caught her attention, and she opened the drawer and looked inside and spotted Deuce.

"Hey, what's going on here?" The girl demanded. "Who are you, and how did you get so small?" The girl plunged her right hand down into the drawer, and set it down palm-side up. "Here, climb onto my hand!"

Deuce obliged, and soon he was lifted into the air, and held halfway between the girl's shoulders and waist. The girl had medium length brown hair slightly past her shoulders, and hazel eyes. Her complexion was tan, and she was a Latina. She appeared to be at the age where she would be attending her final year of junior high school.

"I'm Deuce Orion, I was shrunk in a lab accident at Bullet Bay University," said Deuce.

With her free hand, the girl grabbed a wooden ruler from the desk drawer where Deuce had been trapped, and set it vertically so she could measure Deuce's height.†

"I need to use the millimeter side of the ruler to measure you, because you’re so tiny! You're exactly six millimeters tall," said the strange girl.

"I was pretty sure I was around six millimeters tall," said Deuce. I was six feet tall at normal size.”

"You're so small, I should swallow you!" The strange girl licked her lips menacingly. "Ever since I was eleven I've had a peculiar fantasy about swallowing a miniaturized man."

"Can I at least be introduced to the girl who intends to make me a meal?" Deuce asked.

"I'm Amber," said the girl, "Amber Ortega. I'm thirteen, and about to start the eighth grade. So who are you, and how did you get this way?"

"It all started at the beginning of the semester, I was on my way to Bullet Bay University for the first day of classes. It was a crisp August morning in Bullet Bay, a small city on California's central coast. I had stopped at a coffee shop before going to my first class.”

*****

Deuce joined Skyler, Deuce's room mate, at the coffee shop.

"Hey Skyler, you beat me here this morning! I can't let you get away with that a second time!"

"Deuce," said Skyler, "I don't know why you even come here when you don't even drink coffee!"

"The hot chocolate here is good!"

"You know," said Skyler, "if you keep coming here every morning, you're just asking for trouble!

"How so?" Deuce asked.

"If a hit-man ever wanted to find you, it would be pretty easy to figure out your M-O."

"Then it's a good thing the crime rate here in Bullet Bay is close to zero."

Deuce ordered his drink. "I'll have a large hot chocolate, no marshmallows. Hey Skyler, don't we have our first class together?

"Yeah, an English class. Uh-oh, Jerrica alert! She tracked you down!"†

"She already knows I hang out here," said Deuce. "She figured it out during the summer."

"You'd better explain to her that you can't get involved with her!" said Skyler. "She's still seventeen, and if that wasn't bad enough, her mother is the district attorney of this county!"

"It's not that easy, Skyler. She's been in love with me since she was fourteen, ever since I had to tutor her to qualify for that weird grant sponsored by that non-profit group. How do you shake a chick like that off your trail?"

"I don't know," said Skyler, "but all bets are off until she turns eighteen. Her birthday is only a few months away, isn't it?'

"Yeah," Deuce replied, "I think her birthday is next month.”

Jerrica Calypso entered the coffee shop. "Hi, Deuce! I was hoping you could give me a ride to school. It's the last week of summer school at my high school."

"Jerrica, you live in Avalon Cove! Do you mean to tell me you rode the bus seven miles to get here just so you could get a ride from me?"

"Yeah!" said Jerrica. "I've got tickets to that concert at your university for this Friday night, and I was hoping we could go together!"

"I'll have to think about it," Deuce replied.

*****

"Is Jerrica in love with you?" Amber asked, holding Deuce closer to her face.

"Yes!" Deuce responded. "I need to find a way to get back to her!"

"Do you love her?" Amber asked.

"Of course," Deuce responded. "She's the only normal-sized person I trust."

"Go on with your story," said Amber.

*****

Deuce and Skyler marched into their first class together. A portly brunette was the professor, and this was an English class. Once the students were in their seats, she said she would not tolerate any cell phones in class. Just then, a beep went off, and the teacher grabbed a cell phone from one of the students. She set it on a table, then pulled out a steel mallet and crushed the cell phone.

"Don't let this happen to you! I expect all cell phones to be on silent at all times!" said the teacher.

*****

"What does that have to do with how you got shrunk?" Amber asked. She pulled out some thread, and wound it around Deuce's body, then lifted him over her mouth and licked her lips. "Are you trying to to stall to prevent the inevitable? You will end up in my belly one way or another, it's just a matter of time, so whether it takes you an hour to tell this story or five, you're still my prisoner, understand?"

"It was important to mention," Deuce replied, "because that's why I stopped carrying my cell phone on me to my classes."

"Then get on with the story!" Amber demanded.

*****

That Friday night, at a party, Deuce and Skyler ran into two hot chicks.

"Hi, I'm Stephanie, and this is my room-mate Alyndria." Stephanie was a brunette with a tan complexion, and Alyndria was Caucasian and had hair like a punk rocker or goth girl.

"Nice to meet you," said Deuce, shaking the hands of both young women.†

"So it's my understanding you're taking part in a cold fusion experiment?" Alyndria asked Deuce.

"Yeah," Deuce replied, "So you've been reading the newspapers?"

"My father is very interested in studying the new theory professor Stiles came up with for converting hydrogen to tritium." said Alyndria. "According to my father, professor Stiles has achieved something no other scientist ever has. That new cheaper method for converting hydrogen to tritium is valuable beyond measure!"

"Who's your father?" Deuce asked.

"Doctor Lario Von Darius," Alyndria replied. "He's a really brilliant scientist. So how does the cold fusion theory work?"

"Professor Stiles found a way to use quantum mechanics to strip quark, gluon particles and electrons of matter in the form of neutrino particles. He thinks it will cause a chain reaction that should initiate a cold fusion reaction. As far as his method for converting hydrogen to tritium, he won't fill me in on the details."

"Sounds pretty interesting," said Alyndria.

"I'm heading over there soon," said Deuce. "Professor Stiles is conducting the experiment here on campus. The reason I'm not drinking alcohol right now is because I need to stay sober so I can help with the experiment. The professor thinks tonight is the night we achieve victory!" Deuce looked at his watch. "It looks like it's about time for me to head over there now." Deuce said goodbye to Skyler and the two young women, and departed.

As Deuce approached the front of the laboratory a few minutes later, a limousine pulled up. A door opened, and a man got out and ushered Deuce inside the vehicle.

"I'm Doctor Von Darius," the man said. "You met my daughter Alyndria earlier tonight, I instructed her to tell you of my needs. I want to make you an offer."

"Like what?" Deuce asked.

"I want you to make copies of the schematics detailing the professor's method for converting hydrogen to tritium on a flash drive, and sell them to me. I can make you very rich!" Doctor Von Darius held out a check for five thousand dollars.

"Forget it!" said Deuce, ignoring the check and exiting the vehicle. "Professor Stiles worked his entire lifetime on that experiment, and I'm not going to sell him out!"

"You'll regret this!" shouted Doctor Von Darius. The door to the limousine closed with Doctor Von Darius inside, and sped away.

*****

"How much was he willing to pay you?" Amber asked.

"I don't know, and I don't care!" said Deuce. "My friendship with Professor Stiles doesn't come with a price tag!"

"I'm proud of you!" said Amber. "This story is starting to get good! Continue!"

*****

Deuce entered the front door of the laboratory. Professor Stiles was working feverishly, the reactor was in the center of the lab, and gauges and digital read-out monitors were lit up and beeping.

"I started the experiment without you, Deuce! I tried calling you, but you didn't answer!"

"I left my phone at home, professor." Deuce replied. "I've never seen the equipment react this way, what's going on?"

"We've reached the break-even point!" said the professor. "The cold fusion reactor is generating an amount of power equal to what it takes to sustain the cold fusion reaction!"

"Has it ever done this before?" Deuce asked.

"Never!" said the professor. "And if that gauge moves up past fifty percent," the professor pointed at a digital gauge connected to the reactor, "then we'll be the first people in history to witness a cold fusion reaction that generates more power than it takes to initiate the reaction!"

Professor Stiles grabbed a bottle of champagne, and looked at the gauge. Just as it rose above fifty percent, he popped the cork off and shouted in victory. Before he could pour the champagne, the front door of the lab was kicked in by armed gunmen in ski masks carrying semi-automatic weapons.

"Give me all your cell phones, now!" said one of them, and the professor threw his cell phone to the men. One of them had an axe, and severed the phone line to the land-line connected to a desk. One of the men forced Deuce closer to the reactor as he pointed his machine gun at him.

"Give me all flash drives pertaining to your method for converting hydrogen to tritium, do it now!" said one of the men, pointing his weapon at the professor.

The professor grabbed a key and unlocked a safe in a drawer of his desk, and handed the man several small flash drives.

One of the men opened up on the reactor with his M-16, and the tritium/deuterium solution spilled out onto Deuce, getting him drenched from head to toe. Within less than a minute, the gunmen were gone.

"They must be working for Doctor Von Darius!" Deuce shouted. "He tried to bribe me just before I got here!"

"I'd better go find a payphone and call the police," said professor Stiles, as he left Deuce behind to survey the damage.

*****

"Is that when you got turned into girl food?" Amber asked.

"What?" Deuce asked.

"Is that when you started to shrink?" Amber asked.

"Yes," said Deuce, "it was kind of instantaneous. One second I was six feet tall, then less than a second later, I was looking up at a world of giants. Good thing I was alone in the lab when it happened."

"Then what happened?" Amber asked.

"The front door was ajar, the gunmen had broken it when they kicked it in. I realized the only person I could trust was Jerrica, so I knew I had to make my way to her. I set out on my own, like a valiant venturer."

"How did you avoid encountering normal-sized people?" Amber asked.

"I did encounter one woman, she was a time traveler from the future. Her name was Nixie."

"When did you encounter her?" Amber asked.

"On the walkway in front of the lab. She towered over me like the colossus of Rhodes. I thought I was done for!"

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"My name is Nixie, I'm a time traveler from ten thousand years in the future. I'm here to help you!"

"Can you restore me to normal size?" Deuce asked.

"No, I can't interfere with history," Nixie replied. "But I can make you immortal so you never age, you'll never need food or water, you won’t be vulnerable to temperature extremes, and I can make you invisible to predators. They won't be able to see you easily, or smell you. Your voice will be loud enough for normal sized people to hear you, without you having to yell to be heard. Now that you’re miniaturized, you won’t be able to detect the smells of normal sized things, and normal sized people or animals won’t be able to smell you.”

Nixie shrank down to Deuce's size. "Now you can call me Nixie the Pixie! Professor Stiles stumbled onto technology that won’t be invented for another 150 years!”

“I know Professor Stiles is a genius,” said Deuce, “but that’s on a whole other level!”

“Professor Stiles didn’t invent miniaturization on his own, he tried to reverse engineer the remains of a weapon from a time vessel from the future. Humans from the future traveled to five thousand years before your time to fight aliens who were trying to colonize the Earth. One of our ships got blown up, and a neutrino dissimilator weapon was still intact and orbiting the solar system all these millennia until it crashed on the central coast recently.”

She waved a device over Deuce's head, and said, "Now you're immortal. You'll never need food or water again! I can't reverse your situation, but from time to time, I can help you out. Maybe you’ll still be alive in 150 years when miniaturization technology is invented, and someone can restore you to normal size!”

Nixie activated a jet pack and flew off into the sky.

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"So what happened next?" Amber asked.

"There was a concert on campus that Friday night," Deuce replied, "so I went in that direction. I knew Jerrica had tickets, so I was hoping to run into her there, but a feral kitten changed my plans, and chased me out into the open, and that's how I ran into you."

"But how did you end up with me?" Amber asked.

"You were trying to sell your extra concert ticket, and your purse was on the grass at your feet. The kitten chased me, and I hid in your purse. I stayed hidden all through the concert, and when you got home, I climbed onto your dresser while you were in the dining room eating dinner, and I slipped and ended up in your desk drawer."

"I just found a purpose for you," said Amber. "You're a science major, and you're good at math, right?

"Yes, I got straight A's in math all through high school and college. I even aced calculus!" Deuce replied.

"From now on, I want you to tutor me," said Amber as she pulled out a paper from her desk. It showed an algebra test, and her grade was a D+. "If you can help me get good grades in algebra, I won't swallow you!"

"You've got a deal!" said Deuce.

To Be Continued!
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