"What do we have here?" asked Detective Arthur Evans to the officer in charge.
"A busboy found a six-year-old half naked girl by a car just crying and holding herself. The girl is claiming she was twenty-one-year-old woman just an hour ago. Her and a still unknown teen boy came out here after a drink or two. Started making out and that's when she said he stuck a needle in her arm. Next thing she knows she gets younger and the boy just stands over her laughing his head off before he takes off." The police officer had a look on his face that suggested he didn't believe a single word of it.
"OK, poor thing must have been abandoned. Have you called Child Services yet?" asked Evans.
"Not yet," the officer replied. "Waiting on the paramedics to check her over first."
"Well, don't bother. I'll call Child Services myself," Evans said, and he pulled out his cell phone.
As the police officer headed back to his car, Evans dialled a different number.
"Yeah," Evans said, "your boy hit a nightclub tonight, but he's gone now. It's the one off 2nd and Hebe Street. His first victim is here and waiting." He paused, listening to the voice on the phone, then said, "OK. But I want to question her before you do what you must," Evans said.
Evans approached the ambulance after he hung up the phone. Sitting on a stretcher while a female paramedic checked her over was six-year-old girl with make-up smudged over her face and wearing only an adult-sized T-shirt. When the paramedic commented that she shouldn't play with make-up, this only served to upset the little girl even more.
Evans bent down and whispered in the little girl's ear, "Miss, I know you're telling the truth and I'm here to help catch the guy that did this to you. But for now I need you to act like a little girl.
Hearing those words, the girl calmed down.
"No signs of abuse of any kind or cuts on her. Far as I can tell she suffering from nothing more then shock," the paramedic said after she checked the little girl's vision with a pen light.
"OK, CS will be here soon to pick her up," Evans replied.
A black van pulled up with words C.P.S printed in white on the side. A very heavy set woman with large breasts stepped out with an assistant carrying a blanket and some clothes following close behind her.
After a few words with the paramedic, the heavyset woman picked up the little girl and carried her to the back of van. Evans jumped into the passenger seat and the assistant dressed the little girl and wiped off her make-up in the back of van while they drove to a building that few had rarely seen the inside of.
"Don't worry about paperwork and evidence. Our people will clean up; they'll take care of everything," The heavyset woman said as they drove.
"Like before?" asked Evans sarcastically.
The woman didn't reply, and they drove the rest of way in silence except for the low sobs of a little girl in the back of van.
Evans' partner, Jones, was waiting outside the gates when they arrived.
"Follow you in," was Jones' only words as they pulled up.
After the gates opened, both the van and the unmarked brown police car pulled in to park in the underground parking lot. The group went down halls and through doors that looked like more like a hospital then a top-secret research laboratory.
They were led into a room that had a small table and chairs in it. Just opposite the door was a one-way looking glass that concealed anyone behind it. A booster seat was already laid on a chair for the little girl to sit on.
After the heavyset woman lifted the little girl onto the booster seat she walked over and stood by the door to guard it with her assistant.
Jones dropped a small folder onto the table that contained papers and photos.
Evans sat down just opposite to the little girl. He opened the folder and pulled out a computer morphed picture of a teenage boy and held it up to show her.
"Did he look like this?" Evans asked. "Yes. How did he do this to me?" the girl replied in barely a whisper, her head hanging down.
"This is Jason Hobbs, He was a convict they were doing medical research on. He was in this same building before he escaped and took some of serum they testing with him. The serum makes people younger and keeps their adult mind. We believe that's what he used on you tonight. Is there anything you can tell us that might help us find him?" Evans asked as he set the picture down.
The girl only shook her head in reply.
"Are you sure? Anything at all?"
"No!" she cried out and burst into tears.
Evans went on with general questions and attempts to calm her down. After a few minutes it was clear she didn't have any idea where or when he would hit next.
Evans slowly got up and handed the folder over to Jones.
"What is going to happen to me?" The little girl asked with fear in her voice
"I don't know. I'm only here to catch the guy that did this to you," Evans replied.
The heavyset woman picked up the little girl while the assistant pulled out a needle. At the sight of the needle the little girl panicked and started screaming and kicking. The screams were muffled when the heavy set woman held her close to her body and kept her from moving just long enough for the assistant to do her work.
"It's OK. It's all over now. " The heavy set woman said as the child was released from her firm grip.
No adult intelligence or any signs of the former woman could be seen in the little girl's eyes. Her face was innocent and vague like with confusion. All that she experienced in her adult life and was told tonight had just been completely erased.
The Assistant opened the door and they all left the room.
"Detectives, step in here for a moment will you?" asked Dr. Reed as she opened the door to her office for them. "Don't worry about her. We'll make sure her parents are told. Of course we can't tell them the truth, but they will be well taken care of," Reed told them as they all sat down.
Evans wondered how much money and power was in the hands of the research lab. It's nothing for them to pay off their mistakes just by throwing money at it,
he thought to himself.
"We injected her with Type 2 of the serum. She only lost a few months and her mind reverted completely back to her current physical age. As you know Type 1 only regresses the body and not the mind. That is the one Jason Hobbs currently has in hands now and we must get back. A small box with twenty needles each filled with full dose Type 1 serum were taken, as you read in our report," Reed went on.
Evans and Jones both nodded. When they had read the report a few days before, and it had looked to them like a joke.
"Are there any more types of the serum?" Jones asked. "Yes, the last one - and our goal for the project - is Type 3 of the serum. It has an almost perpetual youth effect and it only effects the body, leaving the mind fully intact. Type 2 was an accident we were trying to perfect Type 1 at the time. There will be only a few in the world that will have that gift," Reed smiled. It was an accident that could help them cover up their mistakes now.
"Best we can do is slow down the clock to a crawl. No dreams of immortality can be made here, but a person may live for a very long time with Type 3. " Reed said with utmost confidence.
"How old was Jason when he escaped?" Evans asked wanting to wipe the smile off Reed's face.
"He was about twenty-years-old the last time I did my rounds. He escaped while being led back to his room. I think he somehow knew what we had in store for him the next day," Reed said with a frown.
"I guess he didn't want to be little boy both physically and mentally, Evans said with a small laugh.
"Guess not. You know that we were only giving them a second chance at life, with a better start. Only the smartest were picked to be in this experiment," Reed went on.
"Smartest and most expendable," Evans replied with a thin smile.
"That too," Reed replied.
"Detective, will he just keep going making people younger or will do something else instead?" Reed asked.
"I imagine giving his background he might sell most of the serum then start raping and killing next. Tonight was only a test run for him to see how fast a full dose works," Evans said.
"Here, Take this before you leave. " Reed said as she reached into her desk and pulled out a dart gun.
"It has one dart filled with Type 2. Hit him with this and he'll only be able to crawl away from you."
"Back to diapers and preschool for him, huh," Jones said with a laugh as Evans holstered the gun inside his coat. His real gun was on the other side.
Jones and Evans got up to leave. "I'll call you if there's anymore cleaning up to do," Evans said to Reed as he walked out of the room.
"Think we can ever lead normal lives after this?" asked Jones as soon they left the building.
"Nope, we'll be forced into a younger age or given the choice to work here after this case is finished," Evan replied as he jumped into the driver's seat.
"Well, Jason only has eighteen or so needles left now. He must have used one on himself and one on the girl," Jones said as he sat the folder on the dash.
"Eighteen and a half or so. He only regressed himself a few years so our APB wouldn't catch him. Before we were looking for grown man; now he's a teenager," Evan said. "Lets get our asses back to HQ so we can both go home and get a better start tomorrow," Jones replied, and he sat back in his seat.
It was the next day when a call came in. A teenage boy had paid for what he thought was 'Grade A smack'. When he discovered that he would be using a potty, he phoned the police soon after. The call was thought to be a prank call, but the operator had special instructions to transfer any call like this to Evans or Jones.
It turned out to be another dead end lead for them. After Jason had given him the needle, he had run off with the kid's wallet. The kid had lost his entire cashed paycheck. . It wasn't soon after Evans' questions that the heavyset woman came in with her assistant.
Evans and Jones left, hearing the panicked screams of a toddler as they went down the steps and out of the dorm.
"Go ahead and put out a APB for the kid's ID and credit cards. Jason's probably too smart to use them but do it anyway," Evans said as his partner jumped into the seat next to him.
Jones talked briefly on the CB and put the mic back on the receiver. Then he stared out of the passenger window. "What do you think he'll do next?" Jones asked as he carefully looking over the faces in the street.
"Go out and have little fun would be my guess. Our best hope is either he slips up or we pick him up first," Evans said with a smile as caught Jones looking out the window.
"He's too smart to hang around you know, but it makes you feel better go ahead," Evans said as he returned his eyes to the road.
"I know, but all the same it never hurts to keep your eyes open," Jones said as he watched a pair of college girls walk up the street.
"If he kills tonight it will be heaven help us all to keep this case out of the media's hands. Even with power and influence these people carry," Evans said, and they headed back to the station.
Jason that night had found an apartment that belonged to a little old lady. He claimed to be lost and asked to use the phone. He quickly overpowered her and forced her to inject herself with the serum. After two more shots of the serum she was now an 18-year-old girl gagged and tied to the bed. Jason stripped off her clothes and left her quietly sobbing. Soon enough he would make her a virgin again so he can enjoy himself fully. The third needle still had a little serum left and the skin healed instantly after needle was withdrawn. Just enough to make her twelve or thirteen-years-old,
he thought with a grin.
Transformations were a high to watch. Strong women that could have defended themselves were regressed into helpless, crying little girls. Jason walked back into the bedroom to find the former woman still crying and spread-eagled with ropes holding her in place. He grinned wickedly at the fear in her young teen face.
Grabbing the third needle he injected the leftover serum into her left arm. The wound healed as soon he took the needle out. Her body did some minor changes; a little height was lost and her breasts got a few cups smaller. The hair between her legs vanished as it retreated back into her body. "OK, let me find a little something to drink and we can get this party started," Jason said, laughing coldly.
, he thought, as he searched the entire kitchen. Not a single drop of liquor anywhere to be found. Not a problem. There was a little corner store just around the block. He could be back here before she knew he had left her unguarded.
But Jason had forgotten to tighten the girl's ropes before he left the bedroom. In his excitement he had simply forgot. Twelve-year-old Rose struggled as hard as she could. Her hands were smaller now and just might slip free. She could jump out of window if she needed to. He have a hard time killing her in the open with people rushing to help a naked teen screaming 'fire!' at her the top of her lungs.
It hurt like hell as she managed to pull her right arm free. Then she untied the left arm and then her feet. What kind of nightmare is this, she wondered as her last leg was freed. It had started out as a normal day before she meet that awful teen. Looks can be deceiving and she had just learned that the hard way. She didn't hear anything outside her bedroom door; but she didn't dare to risk going out that door. Might be part of his sick game,
she thought as she threw on her shirt. It was much too big now, hanging past her knees.
And that was when she saw the phone. Call the cops. She had the police station on speed dialling case of a burglar.
"Hello," an operator answered after the first ring.
"You gotta help me. A teenage boy has broken into my apartment. He somehow made me younger and I can't escape,"
"Miss, did you say younger?" the Operator asked to make sure he didn't misunderstood what she said.
"Yes, please believe me," Rose asked, sheer fear in her voice.
Operator quickly paged over the intercom to Jones or Evans to pick up on line 12. The Operator had been told it was some killer's calling card to have a little kid call the station with such a silly story.
Evans pick up on the phone as he partner Jones turned around from the map that showed the sites of Jason's attacks with color push pins.
Jones picked on his phone and listen carefully as Evans spoke.
"This is Detective Evans, Where do you live?" Evans asked, hoping it wasn't too late to help her.
Rose gave her address in such a high-pitched voice Jones had barely understood it as he wrote. Jones picked up a fax memo that had come only minutes before and showed it to Evans. The former teen's ID was used at a store to buy some liquor on the same street as the address.
Jones sent a uniform to do it instead. "I radioed the uniform to go to the address," Jones said he grabbed his coat.
"No," Evans said, "Jason will run if he sees a cop. He could make himself into a little younger and escape," Evans said quickly, covering the phone with his hand. "Rose, get out of the building. We'll be there as quick as we can," Evans said as he hung up the phone.
Rose dropped the phone and looked out the window. The old fire escape could hold her. She was glad it wasn't raining yet as she climbed out. The sky had been dark all day long. She wasn't use to having such a young body and she kept misjudging the distance as she climbed down the ladder. She let out a small scream as she almost fell. The scream echoed along the Alleyway.
When she was close enough to the ground, she jumped, landing on her feet like a cat. Before she would have broken her leg and hip for sure if she jumped down from that height at her old age.
She started for the street that was other end of the street in front of her building. She didn't want to walk right into Jason. The street was filled with people hurrying by; in the distance she caught sight of someone walking down the same alley toward her. Jason caught sight of her at the same time. Rose screamed and ran in the opposite direction, down the alley towards the front of her building. Jason dropped his bag and ran after her. The sounds of glass bottles smashing were heard as he took off after her at full speed. Jason stopped halfway when he saw a brown car with flashing light on top pull up a. Damn!
He started running the other way.
Jones jumped out and went out after him as Evans radio for backup. The black van pulled in just behind them as they both started running after Jason. The heavyset woman was already leading Rose to the back of van for her shot.
It was too risky for Evans to shoot at Jason; Jones was in the way. Jones managed to pop a bullet but he missed. He was aiming for Jason legs; any higher and there was a chance that he could hit someone on the street ahead.
"Hell," Jones said, running as fast as he could. Jason was light on his teenage feet. It almost looked like he wasn't touching the ground as he ran.
Evans caught up with Jones and keep right behind him as they both chased Jason. Fighting a stitch in the side of chest Evans ran like hell. Jones was younger and had kept in pretty good shape, unlike his partner.
"We got him," yelled Jones as he entered an abandoned apartment building. The only accessible door was at the front; all the others were boarded up.
"Converge on 23rd and May street apartments," Evans yelled on his radio, following Jones. Jones waited inside, looking wildly around at the stairs and up the other floors for any signs of Jason.
Evans pointed for Jones to search the first level while he took the second floor.
Jones nodded in reply and carefully walked forward pointing his gun in every possible hiding spot.
Evans walked up the steps, trying to steady his breathing. It was too loud and would be a dead give-away in the darkness.
He stepped onto the 2nd floor. Russian Roulette,
he thought as he looked at the closed and open doors down the hallway. The only light was coming from spaces in the boards and cracks in the walls. Jason was younger, stronger, and faster then he was.
"Young and dumb," he whispered to himself. It was phrase he knew well.
Jason had slipped up with the girl and the ID. Maybe now that he was younger, he was losing his edge.
As Evans carefully checked each room, out of the corner of his eye he saw Jones coming up the hallway. Spotting each other, Evans signalled for Jones to check out the other side. They both had nearly taken a shot at each other until they recognized the other in the near dark. Evans could hear his heart pound in his ears, the noise interfering with his normally sharp ears.
There was a loud crash just across the hallway and Evans ran into the next room in a flash. As soon he entered he felt Jason hit his gun with a pipe causing the gun to skid across the unseen floor.
Then Jason charged Evans into the next room across the hallway with another loud crash. Evans landed hard against a boarded window, causing a few boards to break letting more streetlight shine in. Evans gave Jason a good kick then a jab punch. There was no time to draw his dart gun. Jason kept too close and made jabs at Evans to keep him moving.
"Come on, old man!" Jason screamed as he tried to land a punch.
There wasn't enough darkness for either of them to hide in now. In Jason's eyes, a boxing match was the only way to settle this.
Evans knew if he could just get Jason off guard, he would never saw Evans' uppercut coming. He had been quite a boxer back in his day. Allowing Jason to land a punch a little harder then he wanted, Evans pretended to be stunned, and when Jason stepped forward to finish Evans off for good, Evans unleashed a his uppercut.
Jason stumbled back into the back wall and nearly fell to the ground. Evans saw him reach for another pipe and make a charge for him, holding his new pipe high to take a strong swing.
Evans drew his gun and fired the dart dead into Jason's chest. He barely ducked out of the way as the pipe swung past his head.
Then Evans, the thrill of victory in his eyes, watched Jason change in size and age. Jason's body collapsed in on itself getting younger and younger. Jason screamed in pain as his face changed from teen to child. His face narrowed and his nose became button-shaped. It was like that morph scene in that movie Starman, but it was happening in reverse.
Evans thought it would stop when Jason hit his toddler years again, but it didn't. He kept getting younger. From toddlerhood to infancy and it finally stopped just short of going prenatal. The newborn baby wailed loudly it was then that Evans understood that it wasn't Type 2 in that dart, but it was special dose Type 3. The eyes and wailing showed a person that was now trapped in completely in a helpless body.
Evans smiled at the sure intelligence of Dr. Reed. He was willing to bet it was her fault Jason had escaped. To cover up her tracks she had Evans do her dirty work.
Evans left the room to check on Jones. He found him still trying to get to his feet. He had been stuck with a pipe and a needle had lightly stuck in his arm. He managed to pull it out before Jason had a chance to inject him fully.
Guiding Jones into the better-lighted room. He noticed Jones barely looked like a rookie now. Any younger and he'll be a highschool hallway monitor, not a cop,
Evans walked over to Jason and checked through his old clothing. He found some money and seven needles left now including the one on the floor in other room. "I thought it was preschool time for him?" Jones asked Evans.
"Not what Dr. Reed had planned," Evans replied.
"You OK?" Jones asked looking at his busted lip.
"Yeah, you?" Evans said as he looked over the younger Jones.
"Never better," Jones answered, rubbing the side of his head.
They both looked around to see the heavyset woman's assistant enter the room with a flashlight. Jason's wails must have led her right to them.
Evans stood up and handed her the remaining needles and told her that another one could be found in the next room.
"The other needles?" The heavyset woman called out from the doorway. She arrived in time to see her assistant collecting the needles. "Most likely he sold some of them for cash and hid the others," Evans replied as he looked at the still crying newborn baby.
"I would question him if he could answer back, but judging from his arm and legs movements I think he doesn't have much control over his own body anymore," Evans said. "How long will it take for him to grow older?" Evans asked the heavyset woman as she picked up the baby and the empty dart gun.
"We not sure, but I would say a century or two at the least. Type 3 is new and we have little information on it so far." She smiled as Jason wailed even louder at this news.
"Come on, lets get patched up," Evans said helping his partner to his feet again.
"More like curse then a gift," Jones said as they left.
Both of them got two days off work and were to report to the secret lab the next day. They got the news from the chief when they arrived downstairs to the waiting paramedics and cops.
"Story is that this was a kidnapping situation that ended well for all," the Chief said. "Children were recovered and suspect got away by leaping into the river. Due to the current and the cold he's most likely dead,"
"OK," Evans and Jones said in unison as they walked to the ambulance. News trucks and reporters were starting to gather.
Evans and Jones found themselves sitting in Dr. Reed office again soon afterward. Both had noticed when they entered that there was a crib for newborns in the corner of the room with a fully dress newborn asleep inside it.
"He gets fussy if it's too cold and sleeps most of the time. I think that is Jason's only escape from reality now. I have studied children for twenty years and never seen one sleep so much," Dr. Reed said as she sat at her desk.
Evans couldn't help thinking that while most doctors get a fish or cat as a pet, Dr. Reed wanted something more interactive.
"I was worried the dose might have been too strong, but as you can see he appears to be a just under a month old. We have no choice to let him keep his adult mind for next century or two. It would be dangerous to even give him a minimum dose of Type 2 and I'd to like the study the effects it will have on him anyway," Reed said as she looked at the sleeping newborn.
"Shame, you did dose him with so much Type 3. We'll probably never find out where the other needles are," Reed said to Evans. "Real shame," Evans said, without any remorse in his voice. The side of face still hurt like hell.
"Gentlemen. I have here a contract for a hundred years of service to our little project with full benefits for exchange of your normal lives. I promise that you will be paid well and enjoy a very long life as the heads of our security force," She said, handing each of them legal forms.
"Either sign up or we simply take you to nearest hospital and give you a very small dose of Type 2 so the past few weeks will be erased forever from your memory. The doctors will tell you that you both had a bad case of concussion," Dr. Reed explained as she settled back into her chair.
"I go wherever he goes," Jones said showing his loyalty to his mentor and best friend.
"About the choices and freedoms we have here. What can we both expect?" Evans asked sternly.
"Your pick your own age and your can leave here to do whatever you want. We insist that you live here in this building and keep any work-related events to yourself when you're outside these walls. We have the best of everything inside this building and we have some very nice apartments on the top floors. I promise as heads of security force you'll have plenty to keep your minds and bodies busy," Dr. Reed smiled as each took a pen and signed the papers.
Dr. Reed hoped that Evans would sign up. She thought with a few years shaved off he looked handsome and strong.
And Evans couldn't help but admire Dr. Reed's intelligence and her young body. He had little doubt that she injected herself with a small dose of Type 3 as soon it was safe. As the lead researcher and inventor she could get away with it.
As they left the office to go home and pack. Jones couldn't help but smile at Evan's face. He knew that Evans only joined to get a chance to be with Dr. Reed. She was smart, resourceful and beautiful. Jones was learning fast how to read faces.
"What a Shame, Jason took his secret to the grave," Jones said as they walked. He couldn't help but think that the man they were after was dead to the world now.
"No Jones, he took it with him to the cradle," Evans replied with a grin, and they both laughed.
To other authors:
Feel free to use the type 1 serum needles in other stories or a visit to the Phoenix Hotel.