Patreon reward for Zeelo and sequel to Cardbaord Time Machine.
Zeelo tries to get him and Calex back to their proper ages and gets Odin involved. Suffice to say this mission is doomed.
Zeelo had come to realize that his little problem he had after a certain game with Calex might be a little more severe than he realized. Both kittens had been reduced to mere six-month-old infants for a game involving a cardboard time machine and castles armed with water-based weaponry. After the initial shock of his regression, Zeelo had enjoyed the game. He had even managed to win. It wasn’t too often someone managed to beat Calex at their own game.
But, during the game there had been an accident. The cardboard time machine that been used to regress the two felines had been destroyed, leaving the two with no way to change back to normal. This wasn’t exactly the first time Zeelo had experienced this, and he lost count of how many times he had gone through grade school again. Zeelo wasn’t even sure how old he was supposed to be anymore thanks to how often he had been regressed to a kitten rather it be a kid or a baby. But, with the machine destroyed that could change them back Zeelo had resigned himself to growing up yet again. Or at least that was the plan. But there was one minor flaw in it.
Two years had passed since the incident and his body hadn’t aged a day. He was still a six-month-old kitten. At first it was hard to be sure if he was just aging slowly or if some other game with Calex had been responsible for delaying the aging process, but now with two full years having passed there was no other possible conclusion. His body wasn’t aging. He was going to be stuck as an infant forever.
Zeelo was unsure if Calex shared this revelation as. If he did, then the orange werekitten was completely unfazed by it. Instead, he was just happy to have a playmate living with him. Considering Zeelo was just an infant he wasn’t in a good position to run his own life, and so Calex’s owner had taken him in and was now looking after both baby kittens. Calex just seemed to treat it as if he now had a brother to play with and as a result Zeelo spent a lot of his time getting pounced and then wrestling.
And he enjoyed all the playtime, but he hadn’t been able to speak actual words or walk on two feet for over two years. It was time to take action and get this situation fixed.
“Mrow meow!” Zeelo gave a shout one morning while Calex was still asleep.
“Mew?” The orange werekitten was laying upside down in a cat bed and gave the brown kitten a quizzical look.
“Mrow meow meow mrowl meow mrow meeooooow!” Zeelo knew he couldn’t manage actual words. However, Calex was magic. He was certain the other kitten could figure out that Zeelo needed his help with something.
“Meow?” Calex just titled his head and gave Zeelo a confused look. Luckily, Zeelo had been prepared for this.
“Mow!” The brown kitten crawled away from the cat bed and around the corner of the actual bed in the room. Then he pushed a cardboard box around the corner and into Calex’s sight. It had been difficult to set up with how little strength and dexterity he had, but Zeelo had written in crayon ‘Reverse Time Machine.’ “Meoeooow?”
“Mew!” This had gotten Calex’s attention. The orange kitten crawled out of bed and over to the box and sniffed it. Good. He was interested. Zeelo wasn’t sure how Calex managed to turn cardboard into functional items. He had already tried crawling through the box on his own and nothing happened. But if he could get Calex to do it, then maybe he could reverse the age regression, or at the very least get his body aging properly again.
“Meow mrow mew!” Zeelo flailed at the box then crawled towards the opening of it.
“Mew!” Calex came after him eagerly. The two kittens crawled through the box together as if it was a tunnel. Then they came out the other side.
And were still infants.
“MEOW!?” Zeelo was sure that would have worked if Calex was doing it soon. He was so confused.
“Mew?” Calex just tilted his head and gave Zeelo a quizzical look unsure of what he was so upset about.
“Mroooooooowl!” Zeelo whined and pawed at the word ‘reverse’ written on the box.
“Mew?” Calex took a few seconds to consider. Then he crawled off disappearing beneath the bed. About a minute later he appeared with a sketchpad and a bunch of crayons. He grabbed an orange one and quickly wrote down ‘Is something wrong?’
“Mow.” Zeelo felt kind of silly now. He could still write! He had written the words on the cardboard after all. He could have just explained it all in a letter. He quickly grabbed a brown crayon and wrote his own message. ‘I need you to make a machine to make us older.’
Calex paused as he stared at the message, seeming very confused as to why Zeelo would make such a request. But after a few seconds he wrote back. ‘I don’t know how.’
‘But you literally made the box that turned us into babies!’ Zeelo wrote. ‘And it had a reversal!’
‘Yes, but that was for regressing and undoing that one regression.’ Calex wrote back. ‘Just making people older is a complicated process I don’t know how to do.’ He saw Zeelo slump at this. So, then he added to the letter. ‘But Odin might.’
This brightened up Zeelo’s mood. That was right, the wolf that was taking care of them did all kinds of science stuff. And unlike Calex, actually knew what he was doing. There was one problem though. Anything Odin had that might help would be in the ‘secret’ lab. Zeelo questioned if it still counted as a secret if Calex showed it off to every single guest they had. But infiltrating the lab without Odin’s help would be difficult. It still being morning Zeelo hadn’t seen the wolf yet today. He might already be down in the lab. But he had waited two years to grow up again, he could wait a couple hours more if he had too.
“Meow!” Calex on the other hand was already crawling out the bedroom door and into the main office. There he bit down on the edge of a rug and pulled it across the room unveiling the hatch that led down into the lab.
“Meooow.” Zeelo appreciated the enthusiasm but wasn’t really sure what good it would do. Even if they had the strength to physically open the shaft they would-
Calex sat down next to the hatch, grabbed it with two paws and pulled. The hatch sprung right open, nearly ripping off its hinges. Oh, that was right, even as an infant Calex had his weird powers.
Still, there was the long ladder leading down to the basement. In their current states they wouldn’t be able to even reach down to each individual rung and-
Calex simply crawled forward and jumped down the pit. He landed completely unharmed on all fours before crawling further into the basement. That was right, they were cats. Even as babies falls weren’t exactly a big deal to them.
Zeelo followed suit and jumped down after Calex. From there they crawled two a large metal door with a keypad high up off the ground next to it. The last line of defense. This door was a lot tougher than the previous one, and more importantly Calex would get in a lot of trouble if he broke it. The only way in was to know the passcode and put it into the keypad. And considering they couldn’t even reach the pad, he was certain that-
“MEOW!” Calex tossed a ball of yarn that Zeelo was fairly certain he had not had earlier up at the keypad. Some of the yarn clunk to the keypad as the rest of the ball came falling down. Once on the ground Calex pounced upon the yarn ball, but instead of playing with it normally began to bat at random places on it as if he was pressing invisible buttons. Suddenly, the keypad lit up green and the door opened.
“M-mow?” Zeelo wanted to ask if Calex had just hacked a complex security system with a ball of yarn. And more importantly how. Questions for later once they could talk again. But now they had entrance to the place.
The lab was by no means massive. It was simply a basement and so about as big as the house that sat above it in area. Of course, to the two infant this was practically a fortress of science in scale. There were tables full of half-finished projects and various machinery, potions, ray guns, other technological gadgets. And there was a wolf.
Odin was sitting at a lab bench. His usual trench coat and fedora had been traded out for a lab coat and some goggles which were currently pulled down over his eyes. There was something that looked like a TV remote he was currently working on, bent over it with and tinkering at it with a screwdriver. Zeelo felt like he had seen it before.
Calex was unusually quiet as he crawled past Odin on his way further back into the lab.
“Mew?” Zeelo didn’t understand. Why were they sneaking around the lab instead of just getting help from Odin? Well other than the fact Calex would probably get in trouble for breaking into the lab. But Zeelo had never seen the other kitten punished with anything more severe than a stern ‘don’t do that.’
“Eh?” Odin’s ears twitched. He had heard Zeelo’s cry. He turned around and saw Zeelo was in the lab. “How did you-“ He froze as he got a glimpse of orange as a tail disappeared around the corner. “Oh no.” Odin quickly got up abandoned his work and ran around the corner. As soon as he found Calex he grabbed him and lifted him off the ground. “How many times have I told you not to go into my secret lab without asking first?”
“Mew…” Calex began to count on his fingers.
“Never mind.” Odin knew the kitten was in no shape to answer. He walked back to where Zeelo was and picked the brown kitten up as well. He sat both of them on the table next to the device he was working on. “If you want, you two can hang out, but you have to be good. You can watch but don’t touch anything.”
“Meow?” Calex started to reach a paw towards the remote Odin had been working on.
“Booping counts as touching.” Odin replied sternly and the orange kitten withdrew his paw. For about ten seconds before extending it again. “Calex.” Odin looked at him and he withdrew his paw. Again he started to reach for it and this time Odin picked the kitten up and sat him behind Zeelo further away on the desk.
“Mew.” Calex pouted.
“This device is very delicate. You remember how much trouble I went through to calibrate it last time.” Odin gave Calex a stare. “Trying to get it set right to counter kitten mischief is even more difficult.”
“Mew!” Zeelo’s eyes grew wide. Odin was already working on a way to change them back to normal! Had he been working on this for the last two years? And come to think of it, Zeelo recognized the device. He had come by when Odin was first making it. Odin and Calex had been reduced to infants, and then suffered a number of other transformations before Odin got it working right. Now it was capable of changing people’s ages back and forth without accident. Or at least had been. Odin obviously had to make some kind of change to it for it to counteract whatever magic Calex had worked on that box.
“I think I’ve actually almost got it fixed.” Odin replied. “Just a few more adjustments.” He picked the screwdriver up again and began to mess around the device. As he did a small bit of dust was knocked loose from inside the circuitry, floated through the air and eventually landed on Zeelo’s nose.
“Achoo!” Zeelo gave a high-pitched squeaky sneeze, right onto the device. Suddenly it began to release sparks of energy.
“Ah dang it.” The wolf didn’t have much time to react before those sparks exploded onto him and suddenly the wolf found himself sinking into his chair. His goggles and lab coat fell to the floor while his pants and shirt managed to stay on the chair. Sitting within the pile of those clothes, his body half buried beneath the shirt was now a baby wolf pup. He was no older than Calex or Zeelo no. It was going to be something of a setback with fixing the thing…
Luckily, it was mostly done. So Odin should be able to finish it up, even like this. Unfortunately, because it was specifically calibrated for the condition Zeelo and Calex were in now it left Odin in the same boat. His body was frozen in time, unable to age even a single day. Until he got the device working he was stuck like this too, regardless of if it took him two hours or another two years. That was going to be a problem as it meant no one could reach the cabinets.
“Awoooo…” Odin groaned as he climbed out of his shirt. Without his weight holding them to the chair his shirt and pants fell to the floor in a pile. The wolf then looked up from the chair at the table trying to figure out how he was supposed to get up there to the device. Even if he could stand up on two legs long enough to reach the edge of the table there was no way he’d have the upper body strength at this age to climb up. That meant the only other option was to get the device brought down to him. “Woof!” Odin gave a shout trying to summon Calex.
“Meow?” Calex tilted his head over the edge of the table to look at the baby wolf.
“Awooo woof!” Odin began to make gesture his hand. Heh formed a rectangle, the same shape as a remote, then pointed at Calex, mimed pushing an invisible box and then pointed at the floor, specifically where his clothing was laying to give a soft landing. Last thing he wanted was this thing crashing into the hard tile floor of the lab and breaking completely unleashing who knows how many effects.
“Meow mew!” Calex gave a salute and Odin held his breath hoping the kitten understood the entirety of the instructions. He looked up as he saw the edge of the remote move over the edge of the lab bench. And then it was falling… And landed safely on the pile of clothes! No damage! Good, now Odin just had to finish the calibrations he was in the middle of. He carefully dropped down from the chair, also using his own clothing as a cushion and crawled over to the device and sat next to it.
“Mew mrowl!” A moment later Zeelo came leaping down from the table. Calex followed. Both kittens were crowding behind Odin trying to see what he was doing.
“Woof.” Odin rolled his eyes. Though, if they were going to be in his workspace they might as well help out. He picked up the device with both hands and looked at it. It was almost done. He just needed the screwdriver to finish up. “Woof awoo?” Odin asked as let go of the device with one hand and held out a hand hoping to be presented with the screwdriver.
“Mew?” Calex looked at Zeelo to see if he knew what Odin wanted.
“Mrow.” Zeelo shrugged. He had no idea.
“Awooo?” Odin turned to stare at the two. Then he looked around seeing no screwdriver. He realized he must have dropped it atop the lab bench when he had regressed. The bench that was now well out of the reach of the three little infants. He had nothing to work with to fix the thing. Odin slumped as he realized he might be stuck like this for a bit.
“Meow?” Calex pawed at Odin in confusion trying to see what had the pup so down.
“Woof. Odin pointed at the device, then pointed at a screw that was halfway in. He tried reaching for the screw, but even with tiny puppy paws they weren’t small enough to reach all the way inside to turn the screw by hand. He needed the screwdriver.
“Meow!” Calex’s eyes sparkled as he understood the problem. He quickly crawled for the lab entrance back where he had left the ball of yarn. He dragged it back with him until he was next to the other two. As he arrived, Odin grinned realizing what the kitten was about to attempt.
“Mew?” Zeelo on the other hand was a little unsure. He may have been just as kitten-brained as Calex now, but those two ran on a special frequency that only they seemed to have access to.
“Woof!” Odin pointed up at the lab bench in the general area he was certain he had dropped the screwdriver.
“MEOOOOOOOOOOW!” Calex bit down on part of the yarn then tossed the rest of the ball up onto the bench where it rolled across before falling off the other side of the bench.
“Woof!” Odin wagged his tail seeing Calex had aimed perfectly.
“Mrowl?” Zeelo still wasn’t 100%. He assumed Calex was trying to lasso the screwdriver, but if that was the case he would have needed a loop or something.
“Meow.” Calex crawled over to Zeelo, gestured at him then gestured at the ball of yarn.
“Mew?” Zeelo sat down and picked up the yarn ball.
“Meow!” Calex nodded. He then ran back to where the yarn thread he had held onto earlier was. He bit back down it crawled a few steps away from the lab bench. Then he paused and stared at Zeelo.
“Mew!” Zeelo thought he understood. He started to roll the yarn ball away from the table, but this got a loud objection from Calex. Zeelo paused and considered and looked to the other kitten. Calex dropped the bit of yarn from his mouth then bent down and picked it up again. Instead of moving the ball of yarn Zeelo tried biting down on the yarn itself that ran up to the table. This got him a nod from Calex who began to crawl away from the table. Zeelo got it now!
Zeelo followed Calex’s movements. They felt the yarn get caught on something and slowly dragged it across the table as they stepped further back. Odin decided it best to quickly move out of the way before something landed on his head. After a few moments, the length of yarn and the object snagged on it came tumbling down from the bench. It was the screwdriver alright! They had gotten it! It fell down right into their reach.
And landed on top of the device Odin had been working on making a loud cracking noise. All three cubs froze in place realizing they might have messed up. They slowly approached the device at the same time, nervous as if it might explode. There was a crack running down the middle of it where the screwdriver had landed and part of it was stuck into the circuitry but nothing else had happened. Odin gave a sigh of relief. Then he pulled the screwdriver out of the device.
And it began to release sparks again. This time much bigger ones than previously. Even if they had tried to get away it would have been impossible to find a safe place in time. The device exploded into a huge burst of energy that encompassed the entire lab blinding everyone for a few seconds.
When they could see again, all three of them noticed what remained of the device was now bigger than them. This was not normal considering it was about as tall as a TV remote. And it was getting bigger, as was everything else in the lab.
The realization hit the three of them at the same time. But they all had different reactions to it. Zeelo gave an alarmed cry. Odin slapped a hand to his face. And Calex just shrugged as if it was no big deal. They were already as small as insects as they shrunk smaller and smaller, soon being no more than three tiny specks on the tile floor. And then they seemed to vanish. They were still there, just so small as to not be visible to the naked eye. If someone had a microscope they would have been able to watch the shrinking cubs grow even smaller as soon they were dwarfed by even protozoa and single cells. Eventually they would be smaller than even viruses. And finally, they would seem to disappear. As even if one had a microscope they were now too small to be seen.
The shrinking did eventually stop. The wolf pup and two kittens found themselves in a place where they were mostly weightless. Various strange glowing orbs flew around them. Odin and Calex recognized them by sight. They had been this small plenty of times to know what they were seeing.
And Zeelo might not have had it happen quite as much, but he and Calex had been shrunk when playing together in the past.
All three of them were so small they were currently inside a single atom. Quarks and other particles were flying through the air making up the lights that they saw. Calex couldn’t resist but swat at the particles as they flew by. Soon he made swimming motions trying to chase after them. Zeelo felt the urge to do the same. It was just cat instinct to chase things like this. Part of him wanted to worry, but the instinct to play won out in the end as him and Calex were soon engaged in a game of batting a quark back and forth between each other.
“Woof.” Odin floated in the air with his arms crossed trying to look stern. It didn’t work. A subatomic baby wolf pup wasn’t going to resemble an authority figure no matter how hard he tried. After a few seconds he sighed. There reached a point when things went too far and you might as well stop fighting it and just enjoy the ride. He was pretty powerless to do anything about their current situation, so the best thing to do was just to try to find a way to relax. He floated closer to the two kittens. “Awoooo.” He gestured at the quark.
“Mew!” Calex’s eyes lit up seeing that Odin wanted to join in the game as he quickly batted the small glowing orb to the wolf. The wolf got it and bopped it sending it flying at Zeelo. Soon the three had a full game going as they played with various particles. No one was 100% what the rules of the game exactly were. After all they couldn’t talk to outline the rules, and so in each of their heads the game was slightly different. So, in a bizarre way by the time the game ended, and they had tired themselves out they were all winners. At least by the rules they had been playing by in their own head.
Exhausted from the playtime, they looked around till they found a particle large enough to fit all three of them on it. As they floated closer they felt a slight pull of gravity being they floated down onto the particle. That was perfect. Here the three infants were able to curl up together and take a nap.
Thankfully, the same magic that kept locked into the age of infants kept their bodies locked into a healthy state too. Thanks to the rejuvenative effects of the magic the three would never starve to death or die of thirst down here. And that was good. Because stuck at their current ages, with no way to communicate to anyone else in the bigger world they were going to be down on this scale a long time. Possibly forever.
But, they would not be lonely, and so would find new games to play each day to keep themselves entertained. As long as the three were together the situation wasn’t scary, in fact it was kind of funny to think about. And so strange as it may sound, they found a way to enjoy their new life, as unaging infants living inside a single atom.