Aurum and Calex have a normal day at the park.
Invasion of the Shrinky Squeakers
“Something’s different…” Calex spoke up as he looked up at Aurum. Calex was currently in his hybrid bipedal form, making him just look like a uniform orange kitten with bright yellow-greeen eyes who walked on two legs and didn’t wear clothes.
“Nothing escapes you huh?” Aurum was his normal species, which was a white furred tiger with golden stripes. What was different was that he was wearing noticeably less clothes than normal. He had on his green and white bandana, as well as a pair of pants, but was not wearing any form of shirt. “Maybe… I’ve listened a bit and realized that you had a point about how hard clothing can be to deal with when getting shrunk or transformed all the time.”
“So you lost the shirt?” Calex tilted his head. “I mean it’s an improvement but if you know clothing is nothing more than an issue, why are you still wearing pants?”
“Because we’re in public!” Aurum hissed.
“And if you were suddenly shrunk would we cease to be in public?” Calex asked with a grin.
“Well no but…” Aurum squirmed on the park bench he was sitting on uncomfortably. “It’s not like something’s gonna happen! And if it does, a pair of pants is a lot easier to crawl out of without the shirt.”
“You know what’s even easier to get out of? Nothing.” Calex crossed his arms. “But some people learn the hard way.”
“Relax, I mean it’s not like something happens every single day to me at this point and-” Aurum was unable to finish.
“SQUEAAAAAAAAAK!” A loud pitched squeak sounded throughout the park. As it did, what appeared to be a massive cheese wheel flew down out of the sky. It flew around the park in a circle. After seeing it was abandoned except for two people it came to a stop levitating in the air and rotating directly in front of the bench Aurum and Calex were on. “Squeeeak.”
“That doesn’t prove anything.” Aurum insisted.
“Trying to convince me or yourself?” Calex asked.
“Squeak! Squeak! Squeak squeak squeak!” The floating cheese boomed.
“Um… You have any idea what that thing is saying?”” Aurum asked quickly changing the subject.
“Something in mouse-ish?” Calex suggested. “I’m not really all that great at that language. I’m only getting about every third word or so… So um something something stars, something something something request. Or is it demand? Then something something leader.”
“That’s all you got?” Aurum gave the kitten a look. “Considering how much time you spend with mice… Both as one, just being as small as one and smaller I thought you’d have picked up more of the language.”
“Hey most of the mice I hang out with speak English.” Calex paused. “That or ancient Gaelic, but that’s a whole other story and the timeline of when things happened get messy.”
“Wait, ancient Gaelic?” Aurum gave the kitten a look.
“Squeak squeaaaaaaaaaaaak!” The cheese billowed again. And then suddenly small holes appeared all over the cheese.
“Huh so I guess they’re Swiss?” Calex asked. That was right before bright blue beams of light fired out of all the holes, and both tiger and kitten were struck by these rays and began to shrink down in size drastically.
The changes to the two felines were similar. Both of them soon had their tail and paws completely naked of fur, and their ears larger and more round. Their bodies were rounder in general, as their claws lost the ability to retract. Where tiger and kitten had been just moments ago were now a silver and gold striped mouse and an orange mouse kid.
It did however take the two a different amount of time to process what had just happened to them. Calex, taking the pragmatic approach of not wearing clothing and therefore transformations wouldn’t hinder him, simply stood up atop the bench and looked up at the floating cheese that seemed much higher in the air now.
Aurum on the other hand, was buried beneath his bandanna and trapped in one of his pants legs. He squeaked furiously as the small lump moved around inside his pants before a silver mouse with gold stripes finally emerged atop his clothing. When he finally escaped he saw the orange mouse staring at him.
“This doesn’t prove anything.” Aurum crossed his arms.
“You trying to convince me or yourself?” Calex stuck his tongue out.
“Attention!” The cheese squeaked again, but now Aurum and Calex could understand the squeaks as easily as if they had been spoken in English. “We will now bring you onto the ship to complete the interrogation.” This time a single large yellow beam shot down covered the two freshly transformed mice who started to float up into the air.
“You know I never got abducted by aliens before I met you.” Aurum crossed his arms.
“Must have been a pretty boring life then.” Calex grinned as the two mice were lighted higher into the sky and eventually disappeared to inside the cheese ship.
The two found themselves standing on a circular platform in a large dome shaped room. There was some kind of circular crystal above them and all kinds of strange lights and monitors along the wall. There was what looked like some kind of control panel nearby, where a green mouse with small antennae sticking out from her head was operating the machinery. She was far from the only one in the room.
There was a multitude of different colored mice. Red, green, blue, purple, even pink. All of them looked like normal Earth mice, other than the fact that they were odd colors (Not that Calex or Aurum had room to talk) and each had a pair of small antennae atop their head. Many of the colored mice were armed. They had what was either some form of futuristic rifle held at the ready, or perhaps it was just a child’s plastic toy. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference between those and advanced technology.
“Now you should be able to understand us.” A red mouse stepped forward. “I am Lord Xutan von Spacerat the twenty-third, chancellor and servant to his royal majesty the Big Cheese, and commander of this ship.”
“Spacerat?” Calex tilted his head. “But you’re clearly a mouse.”
“It is a family name dating back centuries with a proud tradition.” Lord Xutan objected. “Now, we finally have you two where we want you, so I think it’s about time for the interrogation.”
“Interrogation, about what?” Aurum asked as he took a few steps back.
“We have some very pressing questions about your leader.” Lord Xutan replied. “And we will be very disappointed if you don’t give us satisfactory answers. Now then, who is the supreme leader of Earth?”
“Hang on.” Calex, being more bold, possibly due to being slightly more indestructible than Aurum stepped forward. “You turn us into mice, you kidnap us and… And… Um… Let’s see… Erm…”
“What is he doing?” Lord Xutan asked.
“I’m not actually sure myself.” Aurum replied giving the kitten-mouse a curious look.
“Aurum! Help! I need a third one!” Calex pleaded as he thrashed his tail.
“Third one for what?” Aurum was at a loss.
“A third offense they committed.” Calex sounded annoyed as if it should be obvious. “These things always come in threed. I can’t start an epic beatdown after only listing two crimes they’ve committed. It just doesn’t work that way.”
“Um… An epic beatdown?” Xutan raised an eyebrow. “Perhaps you should reconsider your position.”
“Can I put speaking to me condescendingly?” Calex asked. “Yeah, I’m gonna jot down being condescending to me for the third one. Alright, ready to break the ship.”
“What? Are you mad?” Lord Xutan demanded. “That doesn’t make sense. You don’t have any weapons, and our ships specifically do not have self-destruct sequences.”
“I just figure I’d punch it until it stops working.” Calex nodded. “Maybe throw in a few kicks. If I’m feeling stylish I might see if I can suplex the entire ship. Gotta get that S rank.”
“What?” Lord Xutan was stunned.
“Basically, he’s going to wreck things. He’s good at that.” Aurum explained. “You should see what he did to a tank that this panda was driving.”
“Alright, these two are clearly uncooperative and violent. Fire at will!” Lord Xutan raised an arm as he commanded. Several of the colored mice pointed their rifles at Calex and Aurum and fired purple beams from then.
“Hiya!” Calex struck forward with a paw meant to try and block the beam. However, the beam just shined on him rather than fly off in a random direction. “Awww, stupid realistic lasers. I thought we were going to get to do the cool sci-fi deflection thing and…” He paused. “Hey um… These don’t seem to hurt… Like I heal and stuff, but I still feel pain. This? Just kind of fuzzy feeling.”
“Maybe they’re just flashlight?” Aurum suggested hopefully as he was caught in one too.
They were not.
The two former felines, now mice began to shrink in size. The alien mice kept the beams trained on them till Aurum and Calex were both small enough to be easily picked up. They were mice that were m sized compared to actual mice.
“Ohhhh, it’s a shrink ray.” Calex nodded. “Okay I can work with that.”
“Ensign, activate the teleporter now. Since them to the containment terrarium.” Lord Xutan demanded.
“Roger!” The green mouse at the controls spoke and pressed a few buttons. The crystal above Aurum and Calex lit up and suddenly the two very tiny mice vanished.
They found themselves reappearing in a glass room with a floor covered in wood shavings. Of course, at their size the wood shavings were as big as them.
“Wait, they put is in a mini terrarium!?” Aurum recognized what it was immediately. He had been in one before, but not one this small. He pressed his face against the glass, they were in a square shaped room that seemed to be full of similar terrariums. Some of them also had very tiny creatures inside of them, but most were empty.
“I guess this is their version of a brig.” Calex looked thoughtful. “By the way, did you notice?”
“Notice what?” Aurum was confused.
“The alien mice.” Calex sighed as if an obvious point had been missed again. “Not a single one them wore anything resembling clothing. I’m just saying, highly advanced race, containing knowledge way beyond our own. Mastered space travel. Not a coincidence they’d pick the sensible option, eh?”
“Is this really the time for this?” Aurum asked. “We’re smaller than mice and stuck in an alien terrarium. And before you say it, yes I know we’ve been smaller, but we’ve never been in danger of being taken away from earth before!”
“You haven’t?” That seemed to catch Calex by surprise. “I was on Mars just last month.”
“Why does it feel the events you go through when I’m not around or even weirder than the ones that are?” Aurum asked.
“No idea.” Calex shrugged. “But I think it’s time to break out of here and wreck the ship.” He grinned, showing off his fang, a clue that despite the fact he had been transformed into a mouse there was something else to him. “Now I’m guessing this is some kind of space age material, not normal glass and super durable… So I can’t hold anything back if I want to break it. Let’s see how thick is it?” The tiny mouse banged a paw against glass. His goal was to hear a loud thud to give him an idea of what he was working with. Instead, the entire glass wall shattered. “Or it’s just normal glass. Alright Aurum, time to bust up a ship and save Earth!”
“Uhhh not sure I can help with that part.” Aurum looked down. It was a long drop to the floor, and while he logically knew it wouldn’t hurt him… But. He didn’t have super powers. He couldn’t just tear through a ship several times his size.
“Just try to keep up!” Calex screamed as there was a loud thundering sound as the door to the room was sent flying off of its hinges.
“Keep up he says…” Aurum looked down again. Even if the drop wouldn’t hut, he decided he was better off climbing… And mice were just as good at climbing as felines so it wasn’t that hard. After a couple of minutes he was on the floor. And it was at this point the sirens began to ring out on the ship. “I see he has their attention.” Aurum left the room, but tried to be quiet and stick to the wall. One good thing about being so much smaller than the mice was that he might go unnoticed if he wasn’t breaking things.
The sound of carnage could be heard coming from up ahead. And it was pretty easy to see the path Calex had taken. Just follow the path of broken doors, giant alien mice laying on the floor moaning, and occasionally a hole in the wall when there was not a door in the direction the kitten-mouse had wanted to go.
This eventually led to the bridge, to where several alien mice were chasing a very tiny orange mouse around the room.
“You said you don’t have a self-destruct, but I’m pretty sure setting for max speed and aiming at the ground will do the trick.” Calex leaped gracefully away from the hands of a blue mouse that dove for him.
“Can someone catch this thing!?” Lord Xutan demanded. “What kind of monster is this?”
“Monster?” Calex leaped over another mouse that dove for him then quickly scaled up to stand on a console to be better seen. “I’m just a junior detective. And your invasion of Earth is over.”
“Invasion? What invasion!?” Lord Xutan screamed in frustration.
“The one you kidnapped us over?” Calex gave him a look. “And then were interrogating us about our leaders?”
“Yes! We wished to interrogate you and ask who we had to talk to about establishing a trade deal! We wanted to barter our advanced technology for cheese!” Lord Xutan shouted.
“Huh… Really?” Calex seemed unsure. “Because the word ‘interrogation’ kind of implies hostility. Then you did turn us into mice.”
“That was so you could understand us!” Lord Xutan threw up his paws. “It was clear you couldn’t speak Squeakish! And then you went crazy! And in what context does interrogation imply hostility? I’ve never heard it used that way in my life.”
“That’s literally what they describe when pumping someone for information, often with threats and-” Calex paused. “We’re speaking Squakish?”
“Yes! I would think that was clear by now! How else would you understand us?” Lord Xutan demanded.
“And so you turned us into mice so we could speak it…” Calex put a paw to his chin. “Quick question, is our sudden understanding of the language a more literal interpretation that just let’s us understand it as a word we know, or a translation that where we automatically know the intended purpose of each word.”
“What?” Lord Xutan paused as he considered. Mostly, he was just glad that the tiny creature had stopped smashing up his ship. How did something so small have so much power. “I guess more literal, you understand it as the word that you would think of in your language.”
“Okay… Okay… I think a few things got lost in translation.” Calex sighed. “And here I thought I was going to get to save Earth today and you’re just a bunch of merchants.”
“Yes! Why was that so hard to understand?” Lord Xutan demanded.
“Well maybe next time instead of demanding an interrogation about our supreme leader, start with introducing yourself and who you are.” Calex stuck out his tongue. “Turned into a mouse, sucked into a ship, I had no reason not to assume you were hostile.”
“I um… See your point…” Lord Xutan muttered.
“So… Does that mean the fighting is over?” Aurum came out of hiding.
“I guess so.” Calex jumped down to the floor to meet Aurum. “I thought it weird their security was so weak. Usually, they can put up at least a token resistance when I start my rampage.”
“Look… Can you just answer the question about who your leader is so we can go make our trade deals?” Lord Xutan rubbed a paw down his face.
“Earth has no supreme leader, sorry.” Calex shrugged. “I honestly find it confusing you would expect one. I mean, we have multiple continents and each continent has multiple countries. Like, this implies you seem to think that every planet is a single nation and that’s really weird.”
“The people we need to talk to please.” Lord Xutan sounded exhausted.
“Well, every country has their own leader.” Calex looked thoughtful. “You could try to get a meeting set up with the United Nations… But if it’s cheese you’re after it might be faster just to go to the supermarket.”
“What is this supermarket?” Lord Xutan asked curiously.
“It’s a store. You buy things.” Calex paused. “Do I need to explain how buying things and economics work to you? If you don’t understand the concept of multiple nations I don’t know if you understand how commerce works and-”
“I know what a store is.” Lord Xutan moved to the captain’s chair and collapsed in it. “Okay… Scan the area for a supermarket… And someone get these two off my ship before I lose my mind.”
“Ah we’re beaming back down already?” Calex pouted. “We didn’t get to go into space.”
“Maybe we should just leave no while they’re willing to let us go easily.” Aurum suggested as he grabbed the mouse-kitten’s shoulders and pushed him in the direction he remembered the crystal transporter thing being.
The walk took a few minutes at their size, but the green mouse seemed to know what to do. She picked the tinier mice up and placed them on the platform before pressing a few buttons. And then in a flash Calex and Aurum were outside the spaceship and slowly floated down to the park bench they had been on. The ship spun in place for a few seconds, showing off several visible indents and other forms of hull damage then quickly flew off.
“Well I guess that’s that.” Calex rubbed his paws.
“They didn’t change us back! Or unshrink us!” Aurum objected.
“Yeah.” Calex was less concerned. “We’re like ants. Probably better start the walk home now as it’s gonna take awhile.”
“Ugh but…” Aurum looked to his discarded pants, wondering what the odds were they would still be there by the time he got back to normal and could come back. Pretty low. “Guess I get to replace yet another pair.”
“I keep trying to tell ya.” Calex was in good spirits as they walked off. “If nothing else think of the money you’d save no longer having to replace lost clothes five times a week.” He giggled at Aurum’s annoyance, as he knew Aurum didn’t have a good comeback.
But Calex was right. They had a long walk back at this point. So it was better not to worry about this argument for now, and instead start the long walk home.