I wrote this story as a part of an Age Progression contest at Merlin's Yahoo Group, but here the pictures look much better.
I wanted it to have a slightly different feel to most of my previous stories, and it's also one of my longest and more detailed ones. I hope you enjoy it.
If I could write something quite this long for you, surely you can drop me a short line in the comments too ;)
If I could write something quite this long for you, surely you can drop me a short line in the comments too ;)
She never saw it coming. Just yesterday they were talking together at breakfast, all five of them, laughing and planning the future.
Then they had to go to that damned office reunion, and all it took was a drunk driver to take away two lives. Now Molly was left an orphan and, more importantly, her two little siblings had been left as orphans.
The three children had no other family in the world besides her now dead parents. Who would take care of them now? Molly couldn’t bear the thought of her 10-years-old brother Anthony and 8-years-old sister Peg being forced to grow up at an orphanage. She didn’t even care about what would happen to herself.
That was why the Man’s offer was so attractive from the start.
He wasn’t young; he looked mid-forties or so, and he was wearing a black coat and, unusually, a hat. She had never seen that Man before, but he sure didn’t look like he was from her parents’ office. Yet he was there at their funeral, and he had sat unceremoniously beside her.
“I’m so sorry, Molly. I imagine this was really hard on you,” he said with a calming voice. For some reason, she had the fantasy he had come to rescue them, that he was about to reveal he was a long-lost relation who could take care of all three orphans.
“Did you know my parents?” asked Molly weakly.
“No, I didn’t have the pleasure. But I heard what happened and the situation you and your siblings are going through. You don’t have anywhere to go, do you?”
“No, we… We’re alone now. And I’m afraid we found out our parents pretty much left us penniless. You see, they…”
“I know about what happened to their money. A pity. But I can help.”
Molly’s heart was racing. Was it possible?
“You see… I know you’ve taken care of your siblings even before now. And I’m sure you’ll do anything for them. Wouldn’t it be grand if you didn’t have to go to a fosters’ home, or worse? What if you end up separated?”
Molly’s tears had dried hours ago. Shy didn’t need to cry anymore, so she answered serenely.
“I would take care of them myself if I could. They wouldn’t grant custody to a 12-years-old girl, of course.”
“No, they wouldn’t. That’s where I come in. You’ve probably heard… not all Chroners are with the authorities.”
He looked at her, who looked suddenly frightened, her big green eyes wide open. He didn’t need to explain much more. She knew what he was offering.
Nine years earlier, the Chroners technology had been developed. Its official uses were varied, but they were mostly penal. The Chroners could make a person physically older, so they had been used to progress some minor criminals. Instead of spending five years at prison, for instance, the condemned could choose to loose five years of their lives and walk free immediately. Or else, they could be aged partially and then serve for the remaining years.
Things took an unexpected turn when dozens of Chroners were stolen. The technology couldn’t make people younger per se, but it was discovered that whenever a subject became older, it released energy that could make another person younger by as many years. So illegal age swaps started to take place all over. Thousands and even millions of dollars were paid for a few years of youth.
“I know some very wealthy people who would pay you handsomely for a bit of your ages. You and your siblings would become legal adults and we would provide you with new identities. With the money paid by our clients, you could live comfortably for the rest of your lives.”
“No,” said Molly immediately. “Peg and Anthony won’t lose a single year. If we do this, it’ll be just me. You’ll grant me legal custody of them.”
The Man made a questioning gesture.
“Think about it. You’ll get more money if you all do it. Plus, you won’t have to renounce as many years yourself. You’ll all become 18.”
“No, they won’t be touched,” insisted Molly.
The Man probably sensed her determination, because he didn’t push. He waited for Molly to follow the conversation.
“So, how would this work?”
“You have to confirm the number of years you’re willing to give. Then I’ll find you a buyer and I’ll contact you shortly to tell you the offer. If you’ll take it, then we’ll proceed.”
The Man felt silent as some friends of Molly’s parents approached to greet her. He continued lowly as soon as they left.
“Because of your special circumstances, we have to take you off the grid quickly. This very day, probably, before you’re taken some place else.”
“After the burial.”
“Okay. It’ll be risky to wait so long, but it’s a deal. You and your siblings will be taken far away from here and be given new identities. Our system is infallible. You’ll never be found.”
Molly nodded. She didn’t have anyone she wanted to find them.
“So we agree?”
“Twelve years,” said Molly as an answer.
“So you’re doubling up, that’s great. I think I can find you a very nice offer.”
He got up and just nodded in her direction, leaving Molly alone and still sad and scared, but now at least with some kind of hope.
After a while, Molly realized she had no way to contact the Man, but exactly four hours after their conversation, she felt a vibration on her jacket pocket. A small cell phone had been left there, and it was ringing silently.
She got out to the funeral parlor’s garden and picked it up.
“Got two offers,” said the calm voice of the Man. “One of them is half a million dollars for each year. That’s six million for your twelve years. We keep two for our services and the other four go to an account we’ll open to your new name. You’ll become a wealthy young lady.”
“The other offer is better. 700 thousand for each year. But this client isn’t willing to accept only twelve years. They want twenty-six years of youth or nothing. You would become a 38-years-old woman and we can give you papers to make you Peg and Anthony’s mother instead of their older sister. But you’d get thirteen million out of that offer. We’d keep the rest.”
It would be a lie to say Molly didn’t consider the proposal seriously for a while. 38 didn’t seem too old with that much money on the table. But was that something they needed?
“I don’t want to get filthy rich, only comfortable enough to raise the kids. My twelve-year offer stands. I’ll take the four million.”
The Man sounded disappointed when he spoke again.
“Whatever you wish. Now I need you to get rid of that phone. Break it, then throw it away. And set your mind on your parents so that you can say your farewells. We’re leaving forever tonight.”
The burial was exactly as she expected, that is, a sad affair. All three children cried again, then they were taken gently away into one of the black cars.
Molly wasn’t surprised when she saw the Man at the wheel. He bowed silently and they drove away along with the rest of the convoy, but he slipped away unnoticed by the rest of the cars before making it back to the funerary parlor.
Fifteen minutes later, they exchanged cars. Even as sad and distraught as they were, the younger kids noticed something was amiss.
“What is happening, Molly” asked Anthony with curiosity.
Molly hadn’t told them anything, but now was the right time to explain. They picked up the idea quickly.
“So we won’t have to go with strangers? You’ll be a grown-up and take care of us forever?” asked her little sister.
“Yeah, Peg. But we can’t tell anyone. Ever. Promise.”
Molly was sure they understood the seriousness of the situation. Even now, she felt like a responsible adult, and her siblings looked much younger to her than ever before.
They drove for hours, and changed cars again twice. It was late at night when they arrived to a small airport and boarded a private airplane.
“You’ll find these seats more comfortable than the car’s,” promised the Man after waking up the children.
He didn’t pilot the plane, but there were other two men who greeted him and went into the cockpit with him.
Molly and her siblings fell instantly asleep again.
They didn’t wake again until landing. It was morning already and they were conducted into yet another car. Molly didn’t paid any attention to the place where they were driving, so she let herself snooze again.
The building they arrived to looked like a derelict warehouse, but there was quite a lot of activity inside, and Molly realized for the first time the manpower that was necessary to run an illegal operation of such magnitude.
The three children stood there amazed while the Man spoke with a woman who gave him an envelope. He nodded and walked back in their direction
“Your new identities are being forged as we speak,” he said as he opened the envelope and read some documents. "Anthony and Peg are Phil and Ivana now.”
Peg nodded and smiled in agreement, but Anthony remained silent.
“And Molly is Roxanne Sweetin, your 24-years-old sister and legal guardian. We’ll need pictures for your papers of course, so you’ll have to wait until the process is done.”
Molly, or rather Roxanne, nodded in agreement.
“We can get started with Phil and Ivana, as soon as they take their Bioxines…”
“What? You didn’t say anything about that!” said Molly louder than she had intended.
“You disappearance is already on the media. They’re searching for you all. Unlike you, your siblings won’t age and change their appearances, so they’ll be tracked easily, unless they take the Bioxines. Of course, you might change your mind, and they could enter the Chroner too. They’ll be 18 and you’ll get…”
“Yay! We can do that! That’d be cool,” said Ivana cheerfuly.
“No,” said Roxanne silencing her with a glare. “Let them take their Bioxines, then.”
The Bioxines were another genetic marvel that had been developed along with the Chroners, though they were much less advanced.
The Bioxines could change its subject’s DNA a bit, essentially making them into a new person. Their results were a bit unpredictable, but they were obviously soared after by fugitives and runaways.
“Such as we now are,” thought the girl.
“There should be no delay now. I’ll explain you the process, Roxanne.”
She took a moment before nodding, still unused to her new name.
“Your swap partner will arrive tomorrow morning. We’ll proceed as soon as she’s here. The effects are immediate, but they’ll wear after a few hours. So the transfer is done in three sessions. The second session will be done tomorrow night. The effects will then take almost two days before they wear off again. After the third session, the transfer sticks and becomes irreversible. You’ll get your full payment if the changes are successful.”
“Can it fail?” asked Roxanne preoccupied.
“Only less than 1% of the transfers won’t stick. So there’s not much of a chance. And if it does fail, we just need to get you a new partner. It’s actually the pairings what can be unsuccessful.”
“Right. What else?”
“You’ll have to spend all day here, but as soon as the first session ends, you should be out of here. We’ll pay you 9,000 dollars in advancement and give you some clothes and your complete new ID, of course. After that, you’re on your own.”
Roxanne was fearful but determined.
“You should know you’re an uncommonly brave girl.” He then turned to the other two. “Now, you should come to the lab with me to get your Bioxines ready.”
“Right now?” asked Phil, obviously afraid.
The lab was, of course, just a separate part of the warehouse. A chemist had two vials already prepared and two needles waiting.
“We’ll only inject them a small dosage. We don’t need them to change that much, and we want them to still be genetically related to you.”
Ivana was crying silently again, for the first time since the burial. Phil looked at her and, though still scared himself, volunteered to go first.
It was just a tiny prickle on his arm. The process itself wasn’t painful, but obviously uncomfortable.
As Anthony, he had always been a rather short and slightly chubby boy, but as he shook over his seat, his body changed in minutes. The Bioxines had turned him into a lanky and tall boy, actually too tall for his age of ten, and already taller than Roxanne. She could still make out her brother’s face in the thinner features, but he looked very different, and she thought that would help her get used to call him Phil instead of Anthony.
“Wow,” he said when his changes were over in less than ten minutes, his hands trying to stretch his now too short shirt and pants.
“Will I get taller too?” asked Ivana, now less fearful and actually a bit excited.
“We’ll see,” said the chemist holding the second needle.
The little girl’s size didn’t alter at all, but for the most part she was even more changed than Phil.
She developed a few freckles, and her wavy black hair, very similar to Roxanne’s, became reddish and straight. Her eyes became almond-shaped but remained green, and her overall facial structure became more oval than round. She was pretty before, but Roxanne thought she had improved a bit.
“I like this!” said Ivana looking at her reflection. Even her voice was different, a bit too raspy for a little girl.
“She could have gone fully redhead with a complete dosage,” commented the chemist. “Or maybe fully Asian,” he added, looking at her slanted eyes.
“Now they won’t find you,” said the Man.
They had prepared three small beds in one of the closed old offices at one side of the building, but they didn’t want to sleep so early any more after the nap during the long trip. The younger kids were particularly curious about their new appearances, so they kept looking at each other and themselves. After a while, they got silly and started running and playing around the room. Roxanne smiled, happy that they had distracted their minds away from the tragedy.
“Hey, Peg just hit me!” yelled her brother.
“She’s Ivana now. Don’t forget to use our new names. We have new lives now. And don’t hit each other.”
Morning brought a lot of nervousness to Roxanne, but it also brought Therese, the 34-years-old woman who was willing to give millions of dollars to relive a youth that wasn’t that far behind her.
“I would be happy to pay you for a couple more years, you know,” she said with a wink when she was introduced to Roxanne.
The girl shook her head.
“I’m afraid Roxanne is a very determined little girl. She won’t accept any other offer.”
“Often. The promise of money! We had a 9-years-old once, who made a deal to become 19. She ended up being offered so much, she accepted to go up to 51.”
“What happened to her?”
“I can’t say names, but she ended up marrying the old man who had purchased her youth. He fell in love with her, so he actually paid a second time to find her a new swap partner and make her 29. A happy ending. We often have those too,” said the Man and he winked in turn.
“That’s what I’m looking for too,” said Therese.
“We’ll be ready in about half an hour, but we need to scan both your biometrics in the meanwhile. I’ll explain everything.”
The Man led them into yet another, much bigger “laboratory”, which was mainly occupied by an intimidating-looking booth about the size of a large refrigerator.
“This one here is a fully-functional Chroner. It produces chronal energy that will age its subject the desired number of years. Of course, as you know, we discovered that the resulting discharge can be used to simultaneously pull out the same amount of chronal energy from a second subject. That’s what we’ve adapted from the orignal machine.”
He pointed at some wide cables connected to the booth, which ended in what looked like a futuristic helmet out of an old sci-fi film. Both the cables and the helmet looked different and cheaper from the Chroner, as if they had been homemade.
“Once we’re ready, our young friend Roxanne will step into the Chroner and Therese will be connected out here.”
He pointed at the helmet, then at a chair.
“Therese might seat while the procedure takes place because, I’m not going to lie to you, it’ll feel weird. For both of you. Your bodies will be submitted to an unnatural process. It won’t hurt, or so they tell me, but it’ll be awkward.”
Roxanne wasn’t expecting anything else. Actually, Therese seemed even more nervous than the girl.
“It’ll be particularly difficult for you, Roxanne. Over 70% of our procedures involve children progressing into adulthood, and the results are always similar. Controlling a bigger body is not easy, as your brother can tell you.”
The biometric scans took no time at all. Roxanne was barely aware of the small device they moved around her body and which read her genetic makeup. Once they did the same for Therese, and downloaded their data in the computer, one of the scientist announced it:
“We’re ready to start.”
Another scientist, a woman, approached Roxanne with an injection.
“I thought the machine would do everything,” she said, not being a fan of needles.
The woman smiled.
“This isn’t what you think. It’s protein. You’re about to age and for that, you’ll need to generate mass. You would be required to eat more than possible in order to do that, but luckily, all the necessary nutrients are condensed in this little shot.”
Roxanne only squirmed a little as they pierced her arm, and let herself be steered into the booth as in a dream.
“Those clothes might be too small. Your genetic readings point towards some significant growth.”
The girl didn’t want to be naked, but then Therese, who was about to be installed bellow the helmet, intervened.
“Oh, I almost forgot. When they told me my partner was a child going into an adult, I thought I should bring you something from my luggage.”
She opened a bag she had been carrying and gave her a white lacy nightgown.
“Good. You can change inside the booth,” said the scientist. “Ready yourself now. We’re about to close the door.”
Roxanne had no time to answer, and she just gulped as the booth indeed locked up. For a second all was dark, but then a bright lamp turned on the machine’s ceiling, and she could see the Chroner’s door had a full mirror on its interior.
Not knowing how much time she had left, she hurried in taking off her clothes and putting on Therese’s nightie. It was a bit too large on her, as it pooled around the floor and the shoulder straps hung loose on her.
“Therese is properly connected,” said a voice within the booth. “We’re up to go. Turn on the Chroner in three… two… one.”
The machine started to hum loudly, and Roxanne could feel its walls and floor trembling gently. Other than that, nothing visible happened, but the girl had the curious sensation that the air was being filled with static. The whole place seemed electrified around her, and it tickled her skin softly.
Her legs were becoming particularly ticklish, as were her forearms. Then her chest and even her scalp. Soon, every inch of skin felt stimulated.
“I’m generating new cells,” assumed Roxanne.
She looked at her reflection and was surprised to find she was getting taller before her own eyes.
“So fast,” she thought, but then she understood that she was 12, and already in the verge of puberty. Some more noticeable signs of maturation should start to show real quickly…
She braced herself when indeed she slowly started looking like a young teen. She had grown so much taller already, her nightdress wasn’t touching the floor anymore, but was starting to show her calves.
She looked at her bare arms to witness her skin distending like wax, in fact generating millions of new cells as she had guessed. Below it, her muscles and skeleton were doing the same, enlarging gleefully and beginning to affect not only her size but also her shape, as certain bones grew more than others. Her collar bones and pelvic bones, for instance, grew much larger, giving her a prominent clavicle and wide hips.
Her fingers also elongated markedly, and though she was still around 14, she thought her hands looked very adult. Her nails had also been stimulated by the growth and were enlarging by the second, and when her normally shoulder-length black hair fell over her vision, she understood the same was happening to it. She swayed it away with her big hands.
Her nipples had become numb for the last several seconds, and she understood breast growth was starting to take place. The swelling was still moderate but perceptible below the nightdress.
Roxanne’s accelerated puberty took full swing by now, and her flesh increase started to prevail over bone growth. She felt an intoxicant sense of power as her muscles bulged gently. At 16, she had already reached her final adult height of 5’10’’, and the nightie was roughly at knee-length. Looking down, she felt vertigo, and she didn’t want to move her long legs, afraid she would trip and fall. She clutched one of the Chroner’s walls for support. Her back had also broadened enough so that the shoulders straps were actually digging a bit into her skin.
Other than the height, her development hadn’t subdued. Her face hadn’t changed too much so far, but as she approached 17, it started to show clear signs of leaving childhood behind. It only took a few shifting details here and there: her lips plumped vastly, her nose enlarged a bit, her eyebrows changed shape and her puffy checks slimed down. In seconds, she was staring at a clearly adult woman’s face, which was full of beauty and mature allure, and yet retained her childlike innocence, because her enormous green eyes were unchanged.
Her body was also filling out significantly, with her legs and arms becoming wide and toned. Most strikingly, since they had first appeared, her breasts had kept growing steadily, not pausing their inflation for a moment, pushing down the neck of the nightie obscenely. Her nipples had enlarged and felt like bullets ready to burst out of the cloth.
“Oh, wow!” she yelled with her teenaged voice.
On their own, her buttocks had been growing almost as much as her front, giving her very womanly proportions. The flesh on her backside was firm but remarkably large, and she felt as if it was pulling her back… if it wasn’t because her chest was pulling her forwards at the same time. She had an hourglass-shape because her waist was narrower, but she was no waif-like girl: her midsection was properly toned too.
As she closed on her twenties, the transformation sped up. Roxanne was fully adult by now, and even her curves seemed to stop getting fuller. The machine remained operative for a few more seconds as the final years added on her impressive physique.
Then the humming and vibration stopped. The Chroner had run its course.
The adorable 12-yeard-old little girl watched her reflection, transformed into such a big and attractive 24-years-old woman, full of curves and sensual appeal. She had no idea that nature had this kind of body in store for her.
She was in shock, and remained there motionless looking up and down at herself, with no idea of how to react. Only the sound of the microphone within the booth took her out of her astonishment.
“Are you decent, honey?” It was the female scientist. “We’re about to open the door.”
“Yes, I’m… errrr… I’m dressed, thought this is quite small to me now.” Her voice had changed, but it hadn’t become much deeper. In fact, it sounded quite high, melodic and even infantile coming out from such a grown-woman. She didn’t understand at the moment that it made her sound sexier that way, especially with her still childish intonations.
The booth’s doors opened and Roxanne’s adult flesh was greeted by a dozen of eyes. She immediately realized that even those people, who were probably used to this kind of event, were impressed by how she had turned out.
Roxanne turned to look at the 22-year-old girl whom Therese had been turned into. She had also been checking her new youthful appearance in a mirror that had been installed outside of the booth, but as soon as Roxanne had been revealed, the regressed woman had also stared at her.
Both swap partners looked eyes, and Roxanne was now only startled at the fact she was much taller than Therese, but she even felt she looked way too young and immature. She was very shocked by those thoughts, since she was only two years older than Therese now, but the woman had indeed turned into a girl who looked too young for her age.
“Then again, she isn’t built like I am,” considered Roxanne.
“Well, it looks like I won’t be able to donate you any more clothes,” said Therese. Her voice had become soft and cheery, much like her face. She looked strangely out of place with her mature clothes and excessive makeup, which had fitted her fine when she had been 35.
“Don’t worry about that, Therese. We have a good deal of clothes in different sizes for her that is included in our deal,” said The Man, still looking up and down at Roxanne. “If you step out of there, we’ll give you your final evaluations and you can go and meet your brother and sister. But be careful with your movements.”
Two scientists approached and took her by each hand, helping her out of the Chroner. She grabbed them strongly for support, because walking was indeed strange. Her legs were far too long, like stilts to her, and her hips and buttocks swayed exaggeratedly on their own accord, then there was her upper body threatening to pull her down.
“Would you like to sit down while your equilibrium catches up?” asked one of them.
Roxanne nodded, thinking that at least sitting would feel more familiar than walking like that. She was wrong, of course. Her substantial rear made her feel as if she had a couple of built-in cushions. While she sat there, they passed the biometrics scan around her again.
“Worked as expected,” said the technician who was handling the device. “You’re 24-years-old now, and perfectly healthy. We’ll use this data to find you proper clothes now. You’re 5’10’’, miss Sweetin. 36DD-24-36.”
She wasn’t particularly savvy about body measures, but judging by everyone’s reactions, that was quite voluptuous. In comparison, 22-years-old Therese’s scans showed she was 5’4″ tall and needed a 32B, bra, though she was still very pleased about her new body.
“I feel so alive,” commented Therese. “So energized. I had forgotten what it felt like.”
“I feel heavy,” answered Roxanne in turn. “But strangely strong. I feel like I could break things if I’m not careful.”
“As bewildering as your physical changes might feel to you, there’s more to come,” intervened the woman scientist. “Your hormones will start changing you mentally, just a bit. You’ll notice new behaviors in the next few days, and I’ll advice you to encourage them. They’re the only way you can cope with this transition.”
“How can I encourage them?” asked Roxanne.
“Don’t hold back. If you feel like acting like an adult, do it, because that’ll help your brain complete its maturation. In fact, try to be as adult as you can on purpose. Take that in consideration when you get dressed now.”
Therese’s clothes were a bit loose since she had gotten slimmer, but they fitted her quite well still, because she didn’t have a significant change in size. Despite that, they still brought her some new clothes along with Roxanne’s.
“You can step behind these curtains for privacy. Choose something to wear now, and you can take the rest of these with you.”
Once up again, Roxanne immediately realized she had a better control over her larger figure. She could walk by herself, albeit clumsily.
She eyed the clothes behind the curtains. A whole box was dedicated to underwear. She blushed at the complicated-looking wired and lacy brassieres, and decided to go with something simpler. She choose a comfortable-looking pair of panties that almost looked like men’s briefs and a matching sports bra.
One of the straps of the nightie snapped when she pulled it off, but she didn’t mind as she was fully occupied on her completely naked body. Her breasts and nipples looked even more massive like that, and were surprisingly perky for their size. She also was a bit mortified when she looked down and noticed the patch that had grown underneath.
The bra was labeled in her stated measurements, 36DD, but it felt snug all the same. She supposed she had to say goodbye forever to complete comfort in her chest area, but she had to admit this felt good in a whole different, if very obtrusive, way.
She admired her mesmerizing reflection, posing with her arms over her head, waving away the mane of hair that had enlarged so much. At 12, she had just started to feel self-conscious about her body image, and being suddenly thrown into a body that looked like it belonged in a Playboy magazine, brought more excitement than she could handle, even with all the worries in her head.
She covered her legs with some jeans that hugged her backside tightly and a low cut tank top with showed most of her cleavage. The result was a bit flashy, but definitely sexy rather than cute, and Roxanne thought that fitted with the recommendation of giving in to her adult impulses.
The shoes box contained about ten pairs, some of which had high heels which really appealed said impulses, but despite that, she knew her balance was still far from good and she didn’t want to end up in the floor, so she choose a simple pair of tennis shoes.
Coming out of the curtain, she saw the Man approaching in her direction with a larger envelope than the one he had the previous day.
“I want to be the first one to tell you aloud that you’ve become a very beautiful young woman. Congratulations.”
For some reason, Roxanne didn’t like him saying that. She didn’t answer.
“Anyway, here’s your money. 9,000, as we said. There’s also access to your bank account, where you’ll receive the rest of the money. Phil and Ivana’s new papers are also there, and if you follow me, we’ll take your picture, so that you can have yours ready.”
Before following him, Roxanne turned around to see Therese coming out of the other curtain, looking really pretty in her new clothes. She had washed off her make-up and looked as if she could be her own daughter.
“I’m so tight again,” she said with a wide smile.
The hardest part so far was confronting her siblings in her new form. Though they had been changed too, their transformations had been much less drastic, and when they saw her, she blushed while they looked at her in disbelief.
“You can’t be her,” said Phil.
“No, it is her. Look at her eyes!” said Ivana.
Once the initial shock passed, the ice started breaking again between them. At first, they were mostly interested in knowing how it felt to be a grown up. After half an hour together, they were all talking almost normally, and Ivana gushed over how pretty Roxanne had become while Phil’s main reaction was jealousy because his sister was again much taller than him after his own spurt the previous morning.
On the new young woman’s part, she was surprised at how small and young her siblings looked to her now. She had always felt somewhat maternal and protective of them, but now those feelings had intensified. They were hers to care for now.
As soon as Roxanne’s ID was ready, and their new clothes packed, they drove them away from the warehouse and dropped them downtown. Before getting out of the car, the Man turned and looked at his clock.
“You got out of the Chroner at 10:00 am. The effect should last for about 6 hours. It’s 1 pm. now. Find somewhere to stay and then get back to this point before 5:30 pm. We’ll pick you up. Don’t be late. You can’t be seen turning back into a kid by anyone.”
Roxanne nodded and got off. She and the kids were close to a small bakery, so she bought some pastries for them to eat and asked directions for a nearby motel. The closest one was still too far to get on foot, so they took a taxi and were driven there.
She was a bit nervous when she showed her new ID in the front desk, thinking they would be onto her. But the gentle older woman there just smiled and accepted the money for a small room with three beds, always treating Roxanne like what she looked: a young but grown woman.
“They aren’t yours, are they?,” she asked smiling down at the kids.
“My brother and sister,” explained Roxanne.
“So good of you to take care of them,” said the woman handling her the keys to the room.
The room was indeed small and not exceedingly comfortable, but it looked clean enough for a cheap motel. There was a double bunk bed (Ivana quickly claimed the top one), and a double bed separated by a door.
She had been walking around for too long now, so she sat at the small table on a corner, waiting for her vertigo to subdue. Her siblings seemed to understand she needed rest, so they were actually quite helpful and unpacked all their new clothes and put them on the tiny wardrobes by themselves.
“We’ll need to make a list of things we’ll need while we stay here. Toothbrushes, and such. I’ll buy them when I return town later.”
As it turned out, later was sooner than expected. They had just finished the list when Roxanne noticed it was 4:30 pm. already.
“Now be good and wait here until I return. I don’t want anyone to know I’m leaving you alone. Watch TV, or something.”
Careful not to be seen, she got out of the motel and took a cab. She bought the items at a nearby convenience store as quickly as she could. She was choosing a shampoo, when she noticed something was definitely amiss. The tickling had started. She was changing back.
She paid for the things in haste, praying nobody would notice anything. Luckily, the changes were much slower this time than they had been within the Chroner.
Finding yet another taxi, she told the driver to get her to the pick-up point. This driver, a bald man, stared at her with an overt look of longing that creeped out the girl. She simply locked her eyes on him until he looked away, and she was thankful that it was a short drive.
“Thanks,” she said when they arrived their destination, paying him.
“Thank you, doll,” said the driver, but when he glanced at her again, he felt a bit bad with himself. When she had entered the cab, she had looked like a very hot young woman, but now that he looked at her once more, he noticed she couldn’t be more than a teenager, albeit a very well-developed one.
Roxanne looked around and found the Man’s car waiting for her at the convened spot.
“You’re late,” he said, and she didn’t even try to defend herself. She knew she had to be more careful in the future.
Roxanne went through a reverse puberty inside the car, which was far more uncomfortable than her progression within the Chroner. For one, she had to loose mass this time, and it happened via sweat, so she was soaking wet. Also, getting smaller meant a steady shrinking of her muscles and bones, and that was much more unsettling than growing, even a bit painful.
When the car parked in the interior of the warehouse and Roxanne got out, she looked at her reflection in a rearview mirror. She guessed she was about 15 at the moment, so she was almost done, thankfully.
A second car pulled in and Therese got out. She didn’t look as restored to her proper age as Roxanne, but some changes had already taken place. On one hand, her hair was back to be very short (like with Roxanne, the swap had stimulated a significant amount of hair growth), but her face had also aged a bit. She looked like she was on her mid-twenties now.
“I thought she’d be older by now,” said Roxanne aloud.
“The regressed party of the swap often starts restoring later than the original Chroner’s subject,” specified the Man.
In any case, before half an hour passed, both the girl and Therese were back to their original forms. The now middle-aged woman seemed quite disappointed by that fact, but she was also encouraged by the thought she would be young again in a matter of minutes. Roxanne was too tired to even consider she had to go through another Chroner session, but she had no choice.
She wanted to get out of the large clothes that hung over her and which were damp with her sweat, so she opened the backpack and took out some new clothes she had brought with her.
“This time, your changes will be much faster,” a scientist informed her as he injected her the protein shot. “You might feel some differences from what you experienced last time, though, but that’s perfectly normal.”
As soon as the booth closed up, Roxanne got out of the wet clothes. She put on some loose short pants, but remained topless for the time being. She still felt too warm from her regression, so she put her short hair on a simple bun over her head, feeling immediately refreshed on her neck area.
The warning came again from the microphone and the Chroner was turned on once more. They had been right: the progression was much faster than last time, and she took about half the time to transform on this occasion.
Knowing what would happen to her this time, Roxanne felt more relaxed and paid a bit more attention to the changes taking place in her body. She marveled at the quick development of her hips, buttocks, and specially her bare chest, awed at the sensations that came from it.
The accelerated pace of the changes only made them more intense and noticeable. This time, she was completely aware of the growing of hair in her privates, but she also felt something else on this occasion. As that area matured, she started feeling an odd, powerful, but very pleasing sensation running from there towards her whole body.
The older she got, the better it felt, until she hit 18 and her growth entered the final stages. Her breasts exploded to their full size, and she covered them while glancing sideward to the mirror. Her face was contorting oddly from the simultaneous discomfort and pleasure, and her hair had become so much longer it was almost loose from its bun.
The squeezing of her chest only increased the gratification inside her, and she couldn’t take it anymore and let herself into her knees and closed her eyes. The machine had been turned off by now, but her body was still humming.
Luckily, they took a long time to open the door, but even when they did, and she had already recovered a bit and thrown a t-shirt over her upper body, she was still trembling and gasping for air.
“This is perfectly normal,” said the female scientist kindly. “The second session often brings an increased libido. That goes for you too, but in a lesser manner. Your hormonal change wasn’t as pronounced as Roxanne,” she said turning to Therese.
Roxanne saw that Therese not only was young again, but she was also breathing irregularly.
“What’s libido?” asked Roxanne opening her big eyes widely, her voice still shaking.
“It’s… an urge. As an adult, you’ll start experience some new feelings. It’s… you know, sexual drive,” the scientist seemed a bit embarrassed.
Roxanne wasn’t sure she understood it all. Though some girls in her class had tried to explain it, she hadn’t started experiencing it. Until now, of course. She had noticed that since she had gotten out of the booth, there had been a strange pull coming from her body: one of the technicians had caught her eye. She had never noticed it before, but he looked very handsome and manly to her now.
The female scientist looked where Roxanne’s eyes were fixed and smiled.
“Your hormones are just supercharged now. Be careful and don’t fool around tonight. I don’t think you’re ready for it and you’ll regret it later. You will probably feel a strong attraction towards men for a while, and maybe even some women. I know I told you to start behaving like and adult, but don’t act on these particular feelings. Trust me.”
Roxanne nodded, hopeful she would be able to contain herself.
“I can drive you myself to your place if you want,” offered Therese.
Roxanne was glad the Man wouldn’t have to drive her this time, since the remarks he had made about her looks last time had made her so uncomfortable, and she didn’t want to face him in this weakened condition.
Therese parked in front of the motel. It was quite late for Roxanne, about 10 pm.
“So you’re staying here?”
Roxanne nodded and thanked her for the lift.
“Yeah, see you in two days.” Therese’s eyes lingered over Roxanne’s lips for a while. She had also behaved strangely, though she was much more contained than the wheezing Roxanne. Her gaze lowered to the girl’s large chest, with both glee and envy. “You really did turn into a gorgeous woman, you know.”
Roxanne also thought Therese was looking particularly cute at the moment, but she didn’t say anything. She smiled and got out of the car, hoping nobody at the motel saw her arriving at that hour.
As Roxanne suspected, the children were still up when she was back to the room.
“Sorry, sis, we wanted to wait for you and… are you okay?” asked Phil.
Clearly, he had noticed she was shivering and smiling absently.
“Yeah, I’m… uhm… I’m fine, really. I’m just exhausted. This time the process… took its toll.”
Her siblings still seemed worried, but she tried to speak more reassuringly.
“Truly, I’m fine. But they said I might be feeling dizzy tomorrow too, so I don’t want you to worry, okay? We should stay in all day tomorrow, because I can’t go out like this…”
“Okay,” said Ivana, who had always been more optimistic.
“I should take a shower, though, because I sweated like crazy. And I bought some things for our stay. But I don’t want you checking them now: you should be on bed already.”
The shower was tiny, but she welcomed the refreshing water. Once clean, she wanted to stay in there a bit longer in order to explore properly, but she realized the heating system didn’t hold for too long, so she was forced to get out of the freezing shower.
Roxanne covered herself with a towel and went out of the bathroom. The kids were obviously still awake, but they pretended to be asleep, and she was grateful for that. She closed her own “bedroom” door and looked through her lingerie.
In concordance to how she felt, she put on the sexiest pieces she owned. Both the top and bottom were white and lacy, and there were also some stockings.
The night being hot enough, she thought her underwear would be enough, so she knelt over her bed without even searching through her nightwear drawer.
The tremors had never stopped properly, but now they resumed in full force again. The pleasure exploded again and she simply let herself fall over the old mattress, her hands very active over any bit of skin she could touch. She wanted to moan loudly, but she simply bit her full lips, afraid the kids would hear her.
Maybe it was a good thing she really was exhausted, because she could have gone on like that all night. But after such a big day, fatigue took over and she fell quickly asleep to some very strange but pleasing dreams. Her unconscious was exploiting what she couldn’t do in her waking hours.
Yet again, Roxanne found herself waking up much later than usual. Her body was much energized and rested, but still full of erogenous feelings.
She found her mind would wander frequently towards imaginary men, so she confirmed that the scientist advice had been the right one. She should remain locked in and drain those energies on her own.
The kids were starting to get desperate after being on the room for such a long time, but they understood Roxanne needed it, so they endured it. The older sister decided to order a pizza, and that was all she could do for them at the moment. She locked herself when the bell rang, of course, and asked Phil to pay the pizza. She didn’t even want to see who was delivering it.
By the next day, Roxanne’s hormones had started to subdue again. She had her first period that morning, though, something she had been warned about by the Chroner’s operatives. She had even bought what she needed to take care of it.
She thought she felt good enough to take the kids downtown, so they did so. They even ate at a fancy restaurant: they were about to become millionaires, after all.
Roxanne felt perfectly in control of her impulses. She was still a bit too excited all the time and could notice she was being flirty with everyone she talked with, but for the most part, she was proud of her restraint.
After seeing as much of the town as they could, they returned to their temporal home, and she was glad to notice the kids looked much happier.
Another improvement Roxanne had noticed was her control over her movement. She still felt too large to manage all her limbs gracefully, but she was getting better all the time, she had spent part of the previous day walking around in her bedroom in nothing but her pajama pants and high heels, in the hopes of practicing.
In her opinion, she was improving… or maybe not as much as she thought, since the woman on the front desk looked very worried when they returned to the motel.
“Are you all right, young lady? I’ve noticed you’ve been walking funny since you got here.”
“Oh, I’m fine, thank you. I just suffered a nasty fall a couple of weeks ago and I’m still on the mend.”
“I don’t know why it’s taking you so long to learn to move,” said Phil once they were inside their room. “I also got much taller and I can walk fine now.”
“Yeah, but you don’t have a giant butt, or those things sticking from up front and trying to take you down,” said Ivana sticking her tongue to her brother, and Roxanne felt quite ashamed, but she knew the girl was right.
For dinner, they ate something they had bought at McDonald’s for take away, and they turned on the TV again while they chewed the burgers.
“Hey, they’re showing Kung Fu Panda, that’s my favorite!” said Roxanne.
They were watching the film quite normally when Phil yelled.
“Hey, Moll… Rox… whatever. Something is going on with you.”
“What do you mean,” she asked getting up instantly.
“You look… I don’t know… Off. I’ve been watching you a lot lately, trying to get used to your new face. And it looks somewhat different.”
“I think you’re right,” she agreed examining her reflection. And that wasn’t all. She could tell by the lesser tightness on her bra that her breasts were becoming smaller, and her backside definitely was narrower.
“You’re becoming small again,” said Ivana. “I thought that wouldn’t happen yet.”
“Yeah, I should have started regressing tomorrow morning. And I have no way of contacting those people until then!”
“Well, I guess we should be very quiet, then, so that the lady doesn’t discover it’s just three children alone on this room,” said Phil reasonably.
This time, the regression was very slow, almost as if her adult form was now her default one and her body was resisting change. The good thing was that her sweating was also much more restrained.
She remained awake until she was back to being twelve, and it was 11 by then. She now had the problem she didn’t have proper clothes for her underage body, so she put on an enormous nightie and went to sleep like that, feeling strange. After spending almost 48 hours as a well-built woman, she felt wimpy and pathetic in her short and skinny preteen body.
On the next morning, she woke up early so that she could get out from the motel before the front desk’s shift started. Since she couldn’t wear her own things, and Ivana’s were too small, she put on Phil’s clothes.
If the cab driver found it weird when a kid asked him for a ride to the city at such an early time, he didn’t say anything. This time, she was at the rendezvous point before the planned hour, so she had to wait a while until the Man appeared on his car.
He looked at her up and down with interest but apparently no surprise.
“This isn’t common. A few people might regress before the regular timeframe, but it’s not usual. Nobody saw you?”
“A cabbie drove me here, but I don’t think he looked at me properly. And I’m dressed like this and wearing Phil’s cap. I’m sure he thought I was a boy.”
“I hope so. The police is still baffled about your disappearance, and we don’t want any sighting reports here.”
“Okay. In any case, today is the last session, isn’t it? We could all clear this town soon enough.”
Unlike Roxanne, Therese hadn’t started changing back untimely. She still looked about 22 when she arrived in her car, and the girl saw with interest how she slowly aged and her hair shortened during the next few hours.
Once Therese was done, there wasn’t any more delay. They injected the proteins without even asking this time. She took a page from that book and also stepped on the booth without waiting for their instructions.
The door closed and she got undressed again, thought this time she put on her full underwear. The humming started and Roxanne Sweetin, once Molly Ward, was aware that she was about to leave childhood for the final time.
She felt the now familiar tingling that signaled she was about to double her age and she sensed clearly as she elevated from the ground. This time, the aging was even faster than the second session’s, and though also pleasurable, not as overwhelmingly so.
There was no stopping her decision now; not that she had ever considered that possibility. She was in peace with her choice and she let go of her child-flesh as it expanded everywhere. She looked up and felt the Chroner’s ceiling closing in on her. Though she had only been regressed for a few hours, she had spent 12 years as a below average-sized girl, and she had almost forgotten what a tall woman she made.
Her waistline felt pretty good as it reshaped into its mature form, and her hips and rear end grew over her increasingly long and shapely legs. She would never be flat-chested again as the colossal breasts she would proudly sport for the rest of her life grew full one last time.
She had forgotten to tie her hair this time, so it had grown long and got into her face again, and she used her expanding fingernails to shove it behind her ears. Her mouth enlarged as her adult teeth set in and her cheekbones set deeper.
She was done. A breathtaking 24-years-old woman in less than two minutes. The door started opening and this time, Roxanne didn’t wait before coming out to the lab.
Once there, she saw that Therese was already on foot and that the helmet had been removed from her head. Clearly, both of them were anxious for all this to be over.
After they were dressed, The Man approached his two clients and walked them outside the warehouse.
“Unless you turn out to be incompatible, which is rare, this change should stick. Which means we’re done here.”
“When will we know for sure?” asked an eager Therese.
“You should start noticing something is amiss before two hours. But it’s very unlikely. Now… these had been very stressing days for the two of you. You should rest today. Tomorrow, your new lives really start.”
Roxanne smiled nervously. She wasn’t sure how to start a new life, but she guessed that the loads of money that were waiting for her would help a great deal.
“So this should be the last time we ever see each other. Any further contact would put us all in danger. It was nice doing business with you.”
Therese stretched his hand and turned to Roxanne.
“I’ll give you another lift. I’ll get the car.”
Once she was gone, the Man started to back away too.
“Your payment is being transferred right now to your account, Roxanne. Unless the swap doesn’t stick and we need to find you another partner, you can start using your money by tomorrow.”
She nodded. And he disappeared into the building.
Therese drove her to the motel once again and she also shook Roxanne’s hand.
“I’m very glad to have met you. But I think it’s best if we never get in contact again. Anyway, thank you so much for this,” she said, gesturing down at herself.
“Thanks for this too, I guess,” answered Roxanne blowing a kiss in her partner’s direction.
As soon as she returned, Roxanne ordered yet another pizza. She paid the delivery guy herself and was pleased to see she didn’t have any kind of lascivious thoughts about him. Her hormones had finally leveled.
Once fed, she fell immediately asleep again. They had been right. She needed rest.
She woke up briefly and looked at the clock. Five hours had already passed since her change. She looked down and still saw clearly that her breasts were in place.
“Okay,” she thought vaguely before falling asleep again. “The swap did stick. It has been made permanent.”
Next morning, all three siblings went to town. Roxanne wanted to assess her money, but she didn’t want to have the bored children hanging around.
“You know what? Why don’t you guys go to that arcade while I do some things in the bank?”
They were, of course, delighted to comply.
Roxanne had always found banks boring, but she knew she would need to start familiarizing with that kind of responsibilities if she was going to be the only adult around.
The bank employee who took care of her was a young woman around her new age, with a wide smile and a clear disposition to help.
That’s why Roxanne immediately knew something was wrong when the employee’s smile faded.
“Something is wrong?”
The woman grunted and checked her screen again before answering.
“There seems to be a problem, yes. This account doesn’t exist. It seems it was only opened briefly a few days ago, with just a small amount of money and then it was closed permanently. Yesterday morning.”
“But… who did that?”
“Says here you did, miss Sweetin.”
It was a nightmare. It had to be.
“That’s impossible. I had a good deal of money in there. Can you check again?”
“Of course. I’ll bring my supervisor and I’m sure we can fix your problem.”
The supervisor was a middle-aged man who was much less agreeable than the girl. In his defense, he did check the system thoroughly and simply confirmed the previous information. He waited patiently for Roxanne to try and explain her situation until he decided she was simply an airhead who couldn’t understand what they were telling to her.
Roxanne had feared she wouldn’t remember the exact location of the warehouse, but she was able to direct her cabbie properly. She stepped out of the car quickly and entered the derelict building.
All was gone. The people, the equipment, everything.
Slowly, the weight of the disaster fell over her. She had been tricked into giving 12 years of her youth for just 9 grand, a fake ID and a handful of clothes.
She just sat back against the wall of the empty edifice and, for the first time since she had buried her parents, she cried.
Roxanne only calmed down for the sake of the kids. She had done everything for them, and for them she had to remain strong now. This would be much more difficult now, but she had to make good for them.
The toughest part was telling them. She was sure they had already dreamed big. A new life with a perfect new house. Heck, even she had anticipated it herself.
But if Roxanne was proud of something was how resilient they could be in difficult situations. They acted above their age and offered to help her in what they could.
As she laid awake all night, she thought about the swindle over and over. Who had been in the con, exactly? Was Therese a real client, or was she one of their own operatives, who had gotten free youth out of a susceptible victim? But Roxanne suspected Therese had been for real, and that she had indeed payed them the money, which they had in turn robbed from Roxanne.
In any case, she realized she didn’t care too much about how it was done, but she was rather angry at herself. She had been so stupid and naïve… something she couldn’t afford to be in her new adult life.
At that moment, she felt like she had matured even more than when she had stepped into the Chroner.
Roxanne knew she couldn’t go to the authorities, but maybe she could still get help from a more discreet source.
She spent the next day trying to find a renowned private detective. Edwin Fortescue was exactly what she was looking for, but even he didn’t have the answer she wanted.
“I think you were very lucky to come here instead to any of my colleagues,” said the aging P.E. once Roxanne finished her story.
“Why, do you think you can catch them?”
“No, you’re lucky because I’ll just be honest with you, instead of making money out of you for a few months before telling you there’s nothing to be done. That’s what most of my colleagues would do.”
“You see, miss Sweetin, I’ll be blunt, but that’s what you need. Those guys can’t be caught. Even if you had a real lead, which you don’t… They’re professionals. They stole a few Chroners from the government and couldn’t be caught, so…”
“But I have two kids! I did this for them… How can I support them now? I’m just 12, I don’t know how to do any work. Now we’ll starve!”
Fortescue’s hard features softened a bit with her plea.
“Listen… I guess you might have considered this, but… The kind of woman you’ve become… you shouldn’t need to starve.”
There was silence for a moment. Roxanne considered the words.
“You mean… I should sell myself?”
“Well, I don’t think you should come to that, no. Like you said, you’re too young. But maybe there are more innocuous ways… I think you should get out of this town, for starters. Move to the city. Find a cheap apartment for you and the children. I have a niece who might help you out with that.”
He got up from his desk.
“As for the work… I know a lot of… characters from that world. I think I could put you in contact with some the honest ones. Get sure you’re treated respectfully. The rest would be up to you.”
It was the only offer she could take. Even so, she knew she had to keep her eyes open. She was done trusting people.
“Don’t. This wasn’t your fault. They assaulted you when you were vulnerable and I want you to know I think you did a selfless and noble thing. I really feel for you. You see, I was raised by my older sister. She also sacrificed everything for me.”
Fortescue’s niece was indeed renting a small flat on the city, and the price was low enough so that Roxanne could pay it with whatever modest income she would be able to find.
It wasn’t particularly roomy or good looking, but at least they could stay comfortably there for some time. Phil and Ivana didn’t complain even once, and their sister was grateful for that.
As for the work, Roxanne was still pretty nervous. She had an interview that day with the owner of a nightclub who was looking for new strippers, and the girl couldn’t believe she was desperate enough to do it.
“He’s a bit crude, but his heart is in the right place,” had been Fortescue’s warning. “You might feel frightened, but he won’t put a finger on you. And, for me, he would actually go great lengths to protect you. You’ll be safe there.”
Roxanne knew she hadn’t much to offer besides her looks, so she tried to dress appropriately. She put on one of her tightest jeans and a blouse that was more of a brassiere and which revealed her whole midriff. For good measure, she had even pierced her navel and was also wearing a cowgirl hat.
The man she was looking for was called Mr. Maninno. The nightclub was at a populous spot in the city, but today he was at his ranch and she was going to meet him there.
He looked every bit as unrefined as detective Fortescue had described him. He was big and fat, balding and with a big tobacco on his stretched mouth.
“Fortescue was right, you’re quite the specimen!”
She had been advised to always smile at him, so she forced herself to do it. He seemed quite delighted to have her at her club, even when she confessed she had never danced in her life.
“We’ll teach you for a couple of weeks. In any case, when you have tits like those, they don’t care if you’re dancing properly!”
Roxanne laughed along, but felt completely disgusted. She needed to learn to keep her dignity at bay if she was going to do this.
“I love your hat, but I don’t think that should be your act. You look way too innocent for the cowgirl routine, so I’m thinking about putting you in a schoolgirl uniform, uhm?”
“Schoolgirl Roxxie” was first due for a show three weeks later.
She was very nervous in the changing room, her pigtails already on place and her tiny blouse tied on a knot. She still had to put on her skirt, but she was trying to get used to walking around with only a thong and her huge buttocks bare in the air.
One of the other girls entered appeared behind her.
“They’re almost ready for you sweetie.”
Luckily, her new workmates were quite nice to her. She was among the oldest strippers at the club, and her body was much more developed than most of theirs were, but she exuded such an air of naivety and wholesomeness that the others had become instantly protective of the new arrival.
“You look very hot already, go!”
Roxanne smiled and looked at the mirror again to check her make-up. Luckily, she had become very good at that, because she still struggled with her dancing.
It seemed Mr. Maninno had been right after all, because though her moves were far from flawless, the audience still roared at her twisting. She had refused to go completely nude or even topless in her contract, but even when she stripped down to her underwear, she could feel the excitement in the air coming from the men around her.
She felt disgusted, but she kept moving with a fake smile on her face.
They tips had been much better than expected, and they accounted for even more than the actual payment the club gave her. But that still didn’t mean she felt happy about having to get half-naked every few nights for the foreseeable future.
She would have started to get very depressed if she hadn’t discovered a support group for people who had been changed by Chroners. Roxanne really wanted to meet more people like her, who maybe could relate to her problems and offer her some advice.
When she arrived to the meeting place, she saw a pretty blonde girl coming out of a car. She was well-dressed and had an incredible mane of long hair. The way she was carrying her backpack, and the apprehension with which she bid farewell to the woman driving the car, made her Roxanne understand she was actually a young child. The small Batman pin over her designer clothes was also a tell.
She was moving insecurely still, and the fact that her hair seemed in need of a good trim made Roxanne think that this girl’s transformation had been fairly recent. And though she was feeling a bit nervous about this meeting herself, the blonde looked positively scared.
The leader of the group was the first one to speak. She was a middle aged woman who, Roxanne later found out, had never suffered any kind of transformation. But she was an expert on the topic and offered her help.
“We have three new joiners today, and maybe we could start listening to them. Just a quick introduction, don’t worry,” said the woman kindly.
The first of the new arrivals to speak was a very tall and completely bald guy with a goatee, who was wearing a white t-shirt that revealed his much muscled body and many tattoos. He seemed a bit nervous, which was funny in such a threatening-looking guy.
“I’m… uhm… Danny. I was 13-years-old when I… did something I’m not proud about. I was sentenced to nine years at prison. The judge make an arrangement and they gave me eight with the Chroner. I only had to serve the one remaining year at the penitentiary.”
He looked around, but nobody intervened.
“I was released a week ago, and now I have to rebuild my life as an adult man. That’s why I wanted to come here.”
“And what’s your main feeling about your situation?” asked the speaker, and Danny considered his answer for a while.
“I think I’m mainly pissed off at the system. I don’t think the Chroners are good for our society. Take me. A skinny kid who made a mistake, suddenly turned into a massive guy, then sent to prison to spend a year with true criminals and learn the ropes. Now I’m released, and I could be actually dangerous. I honestly want to change, but how many can say so? I could have turned into a real menace. Then there’s also those who aren’t as lucky as me.”
“In what sense?”
To illustrate his point, Danny stood up and flexed his enormous biceps. A few people flinched.
“You see? Puberty made me really intimidating, and that saved me at prison. I actually became quite a big fish there. But what about those poor kids who don’t grow as much as me? They’re locked with actual adult criminals and very nasty things have happened.”
A tough-looking young woman in another seat nodded in agreement. Obviously she had also done time. The meeting leader spoke next.
“Thank you, Danny. There’s indeed many of us who believe the Chroners shouldn’t be used as means of criminal prosecution. I’d like you to stay at the end and take your contact. I think we need more victims like you to speak up, and you seem very vocal against it,” he nodded. “Now you go, dear.”
Next up was at the scared blonde girl who had arrived along Roxanne.
“I’m Bryce. I’m 7… I mean, I’m 18 years old now,” she rectified and looked down at herself as if she wanted to make sure of her statement. “I’ve just transformed two days ago, so I’m not used to any of this at all. My mother wanted me to start in here at once because she believes it’ll help.”
“We hope so, Bryce. Tell us, why did you get older?”
“I donated eleven years to my mom. She was very sick. The doctors said they could help if they had discovered her illness years ago.”
Donating years for medical reasons was another legal use of the Chroner. Bryce went on.
“She is the only thing I have, so I had to help,” she broke down completely and started crying. “I don’t regret doing it, and I like how I look now and everything, but… I’m so scared.”
“It’s okay to feel scared. I think you did a very beautiful thing when you saved your mother. Is she fine?”
“Yes, they operated her immediately and she’s not in danger anymore!” Bryce smiled between sobs and started calming down. “Plus, she eventually give me back my age, but the doctors think she should get strong enough first, so we’ll have to spend some time like this, and they say this experience will change me forever.”
Roxanne knew it was her turn, so she cleared her throat to win a bit of time.
“You can call me Rox and I was 12. Two months ago my parents died and I and my siblings were left alone in the world.”
Roxanne knew the support group was confidential. Many people there had been changed illegally. And it would feel real good to share the truth with the crowd.
“I was offered a black-market Chroner swap. I was to be made a legal 24-years-old adult, while a paying woman got younger. I did so to be able to help my siblings. Unfortunately, I was cheated. I never got the money and I’ve been struggling to survive and feed the kids. I’ve been making a living as… an exotic dancer. I hope… I think we’re going to be all right now.”
The absolute silence that followed was a testament to how distressing the others found her testimonial.
“That’s terrible, Rox,” said the speaker after a long pause. “Thanks for sharing it with such honesty. The horrible thing is that there’s many like you who have been victims of such a fraud. Do you want to share your story with her, Janice?”
Another woman nodded. She was about Roxanne’s age, maybe just a couple of years older.
“I wish I had such altruistic reasons to do what I did, like you, but I don’t. I was just selfish. A 13-years-old malcontent. I wanted to run away from my parents, just because I never felt loved. And it wasn’t true. My parents and I just had communication problems.”
She smiled sadly.
“I didn’t care any more about my friends at school either, and to be honest, the only one I cared about was my dog.”
“I guess I must have made some comment on Internet about my intentions to escape, because they contacted me on their own accord. I guess they prey on people like us. Runaways, orphans… They sent a woman to get me. She seemed so cool to me at the moment. She said she had been like me. A little girl trapped by stupid parents. But then the Chroner had freed her. And they could do the same for me. Make me older and rich, and stuff. So I sold myself. Ten years.”
Though some of them knew the story, all members of the group remained silent while she explained it.
“The thing went smoothly and I turned in 23-years-old woman. And it was rad at first. I mean, I was big, and hot, and FREE. They gave me a new identity and I was going to make sure “Celeste McCarthy” was going to be the coolest woman in the world. Then, of course, they disappeared with all the money.”
Even though Janice was trying to sell herself as someone who deserved what had happened, Rox couldn’t help but feel for her. There was no justifying in swindling kids out of their youth, no matter how selfish they had been.
“I guess I ended up a bit like you are now, except, of course, I didn’t have kids to care for. But that didn’t change the fact that I was hungry, homeless and running out of money quickly. But I wasn’t like you. I wish I could say I started working to support myself… hell, even as a stripper. But no, I took what at the time seemed like the easy way.”
For all the hardships she had talked about, it seemed she had arrived to the worst part.
“I met a guy and went to live with him. I thought I had fallen in love… he made me feel so grown-up, unlike anything I had lived before. Plus, he fed me and sheltered me. That’s why I endured everything. When he started cheating… And when he started hitting me too.”
She smiled. Clearly, the memory was still harmful, but she had come to terms with it.
“I realized then I had never been brave or daring like I had thought. I believed I was so tough because I ran away from home, but I was actually a total mess. I left him, but the damage was done. I had even started drinking heavily. Then, one day, a miracle happened.”
She straightened herself up and looked at Roxanne encouragingly.
“I was at the supermarket where I had started working when my dad walked in. And he recognized me, despite how much I had changed. I was expecting he would yell at me, or ask me why I did it, but he just hugged me and cried, and I discovered I was doing the same. I had run away from them, but then my parents found me and saved me. They didn’t hand me to the authorities, but rather gave me love and care. And I like to think I’ve recovered almost completely from the experience, which started four years ago.”
Roxanne felt a bit uplifted by the bitter sweet story. Those were the real happy endings, she thought, never completely perfect, like the probably fake story the Man had once told her. Of course, her own happy ending seemed very far away, especially when she had no parents to save her any more.
“But then again, at least I brought this on myself,” continued Janice. “Others haven’t,” she added looking in the direction of two other members.
They were a man and woman who looked a lot like each other. Both were quite handsome and were probably in their late twenties or early thirties.
“Abby and Jeff also had a rather difficult experience,” said the meeting leader. “Do you care to share it with our new friends?”
They looked at each other and the man nodded.
“All of this happened two years ago. I’m Jeff and I was 12 then, and this is my sister Abigail, who was 9.”
The woman had been taking notes during the meeting, and she waved at the new arrivals and they returned the acknowledgement.
“We were walking home after school one day when we were kidnapped. We were blindfolded and taken to an unknown place, apparently a cellar of some kind. They had a Chroner there, of course. And they stole us.”
“They stole our ages,” continued Abby for him. “They took 17 years from me, making me 26, and 18 from Jeff, aging him into a 30-years-old man. We didn’t even see who was getting our youth, since they were already gone before they opened the booth. But someone bothered to abduct two children in order to become younger.”
“They released us as soon as the last swap was over. The police found us wandering in our larger bodies and when we explained everything, they called our parents. They helped us out, of course, but thigs were rather strange for a while. I mean, I was bigger than my dad and almost as old. School had to take us back, but we didn’t last there for long. It was too weird, given how we looked, so we dropped out.”
“But we started night school after that, and we also began working with our parents,” explained his sister. “We’ve been doing quite good, considering. Jeff is even engaged!”
The man smiled proudly.
“She’s a very good woman, and the best consequence of all this thing. She knows my real age, of course, but she accepts me and loves me. I met her at my workplace and she’s 27, a bit younger than me, but then again I should really be 14, so I guess she’s actually too old for me! We fell in love immediately and the wedding will be in two months.”
The circle congratulated Jeff.
“Yeah, we were relatively lucky,” intervened Abby. “They were… a bit compassionate, I guess. They could have extracted more years, but they only aged us into our primes. Other victims have been turned into old people. I’ve known a few of them,” she said with tears trembling on her eyes.
After that, Roxanne listened to a few more experiences. Most of them weren’t victims of crimes, but instead had entered the Chroners legally, like a pregnant woman named Julianne who had joined the support group recently. She had been raped as an 11-years-old and ended up with child.
She had refused to have an abortion, but she had asked a judge to rule in favor of aging her a bit so that she could have the baby more safely, and then could rise it better. Since unborn babies weren’t affected by the Chroner’s energy, they had agreed to age her into a young adult woman of 21.
“My body feels much readier to endure the pregnancy now. I had all kinds of health problems when I was 11 because I wasn’t fully developed, and that put the baby at risk. I’m due in three weeks, by the way,” announced Julianne happily. Clearly, she loved her future baby despite what its father had done.
Everyone cheered and Roxanne joined them. It was hard not getting infected with a bit of joy when she was surrounded by people who had found a silver lining in the middle of such terrible disgraces.
Four month later, Roxanne was having a peaceful afternoon at the beach with her best friend Janice and her siblings. It was Ivana’s birthday, and she had been asking to go to beach for a while.
Roxanne squirmed trying to zip her new wetsuit, one of the few indulgences she had afforded with the money she had saved.
“Couldn’t you find a bigger suit?” laughed Janice.
“This was the best one… There, it closed.”
“Your boobs are too darn big, Rox,” said her friend lying casually besides her.
She chuckled, feeling really lucky to have made such good friends like Janice. In these last weeks, she had started feeling almost like a normal person.
Besides Janice, she had really connected with other people at the support group. She had already gone to meet Julianne’s baby girl, and had even attended Jeff’s wedding. His sister Abigail had become another of Roxanne’s best friends. They had many things in common after all.
But she had even started making friends with actual adults. The girls at the nightclub were starting to see Roxanne as an equal, especially since she had started gaining more confidence. Her moves had also improved a lot, and Mr. Maninno had even allowed her to go beyond the schoolgirl act. She had started new routines, like “All-American Roxxy”.
But she didn’t want to dance in front of dirty men for the rest of her life. She had taken Abby’s advice and started night school. Some of her classmates there didn’t take her seriously at all, of course, and they thought she was a dumb bimbo because of the way she looked and sounded. And Roxanne couldn’t blame them: she knew that in many ways, she still acted like a little girl.
But they were underestimating her. As Molly, she had always been a top student at school, and the Chroner had only expanded her brain to its full capacity. It was still quite empty because she had to get knowledge first, but if anything, she had become more adept at quickly learning and understanding information.
She looked at her brother and sister, gleefully playing on the shore. They also seemed much happier lately. They were doing great at their new school, and were quite helpful with Roxanne. She never had headaches because of them.
Yes, life had been difficult this last year, but as she had learned in her group, others had it worse and had endured. Of course she could do it too.
Phil woke up early that day.
The 21-years-old man turned around on the bed to look at his girlfriend, who was still asleep and looked peaceful and angelical. He smiled when he was reminded of the great night of lovemaking they just had, and wondered how he had been so lucky to score a girl like that.
Sitting down on the bed and looking down at himself, he realized it was probably indeed luck. He sometimes felt a big unsure about himself, particularly when she called him “big guy.” He was a very tall and robust man indeed, but he had never told his girlfriend that he only was like that because he had been genetically modified as a kid. He still remembered when he was short and stubby, and was pretty sure he would have never dated a girl like her if the Bioxines hadn’t improved his genes. So it was just luck.
He was sure she would love him all the same if he confessed the truth, but that hadn’t been an option so far. But if that day went as it should, he wouldn’t need to keep his biggest secrets any more.
His girlfriend was roused by his movement. She looked at the clock and then at him.
“Do you want to get back here, honey? It’s not late yet,” she said.
“I can’t babe,” he answered giving her a kiss. “I’ve got to meet with Ivana today.”
They kissed again and he took a shower and got dressed before leaving his girlfriend’s home.
Ivana was his pretty 19-years-old sister. She was waiting for Phil at a nearby supermarket, and she waved at him when she saw him. He smiled widely at the familiar young woman with reddish hair and almond-shaped eyes, though he remembered quite vividly when she had been a little black-haired girl named Peggy. Like he did about himself, he often wondered how Ivana would look today if she hadn’t been transformed by the Bioxines too.
The siblings had a fun breakfast together before they headed to Ivana’s place. She still lived with their older sister Roxanne, but not at the same small flat they had first rented when they arrived to the city eleven years earlier.
Roxanne was there preparing a cake. She smiled widely at her siblings. Even a decade later, she was still a stunning woman. She had turned 35 a few months earlier, but it didn’t look as if time had affected her at all. Her face was maybe a bit more mature, but she could still be taken for a girl in her mid-twenties. Privately, though, she had started noticing her skin wasn’t as elastic as it used to be and her large breasts were dropping just a tiny bit when unsupported.
“Phil!” she said and went to hug and kiss her brother. “I didn’t know you would be coming this morning!”
“Just wanted to be with my two girls today.”
“What about your other girl?”
“Long night?” asked Roxanne with a wink.
“Rox!” said Phil with a distinct blush.
“Come on, don’t think you’ll embarrass me! I was a stripper for four years, you know.”
She had never been ashamed about that part of her life. She had done what had been necessary to support the children and was proud of that fact. But as soon as she had completed her studies and found a more formal job opportunity, she had taken it.
All three of them sat together in the kitchen and started talking. From time to time, Phil and Ivana exchanged furtive glances, and Roxanne noticed them.
“You can’t fool me. You two are up to something,” she said finally.
Phil sighed and nodded.
“Yeah, well. We wanted to talk to you. Ivana and I have been talking a lot about… things recently. And we think it’s time you come clean.”
Roxanne blinked a couple of times.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, we’ve been researching. It turns out authorities have started a campaign for victims of Chroner frauds to denounce what happened to them.”
Roxanne was more serious than usual.
“We’ve talked about that before. It’s on the past.”
“No, it’s not,” intervened Ivana. “You did the most wonderful thing for us, Rox, and we all came all right because you were incredibly strong. But that doesn’t change the fact that you were robbed of a big chunk of your life, and that you should have just turned 23 instead of 35.”
“I accepted that fate.”
“But we haven’t. I think it’s time we do something to pay you back for your sacrifice. But regrettably, the only thing we can do is advice you to acknowledge what happened to the authorities.”
Roxanne hadn’t expected something like this.
“Okay, let’s say I do it. What would it change? They’ll never caught them anyway, and I’ll go to jail as an accomplice…”
“No, you wouldn’t,” explained Phil. “I told you we’ve been researching. And you are clearly a victim, not an accomplice. You did agree to an illicit change, but you had reasonable motives, and you were a child. You aren’t liable for the crime itself, and in fact you are eligible for an indemnification.”
“They can give you back your lost 12 years!” said Ivanna with a big smile.
Roxanne thought about it. She had lost her teenage years forever, but if they were right, she could really be 23 instead of a woman in the brink of middle-age. But did she have the courage?
“You were always so brave,” said Phil, almost as if he had read her mind. “Be brave once more.”
Roxanne sat in the office while Ivana held her hand. Standing beside them, Phil was holding her big sister’s shoulders.
The aging police officer who entered seemed kind and inviting.
“Sorry about the wait, miss Sweetin,” he said seating in front of the desk. “They tell me you’re here to report a Chroner-related crime.”
She closed her eyes and breathed deeply as she nodded before starting, her voice shaking a bit, but strong with hope of being completely free at least.
“My real name is Molly Ward, and when I was 12, I was illegally transformed into a 24-years-old woman…”