My name is Carl Jones, Vice President of New Temporal Alternate Realities at Chronivac Industries. As a director of the many subsidiaries that make up our company, many are led to question me concerning the origins of our products. Where do they come from? Why is it that one can never find any website for Chronivac's many products? Why do you operate in a manner of such secrecy? Why is it that no one has heard of you?
The answers are complicated. Chronivac executives founded the company in 1789, not much longer after the founding of what was then the United States of America, but which quickly became known as part of the Autonomous States of Earth, as the world entered a rushed race to meet qualifications for membership in the many world Confederacy of Worlds.
Over our long history, Chronivac has overseen the building of everything from Earth's first interstellar spaceships to engineering away disease, not to mention our patented life saving age deceleration products. Many in the multiverse, that is to say, the thousands of dimensions that exist outside our own, would kill for a chance to participate in our many trials!
So, it occurred to us that testing various products in other dimensions could only serve to benefit the team of psychologists, doctors, and assorted scientists that make up our amazing corporation. Through you, our appreciated customers, we have established the beginnings of a wonderful new relationship. Of course, secrecy is of paramount importance to us. You may have noticed that upon any undue attention to recent transformations, Chronivac products will suddenly disappear. Rest assured, we have not recalled our products due to any hasty decisions. We realize the inconvenience of these instances and offer our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
In the interest of furthering our relationship with our customers, we will be sending a monthly newsletter interviewing satisfied customers who want to share their achievements with you all. This month, we will be talking with two current minors and two current adult males. For the sake of anonymity, we will give them fake names.
First, let's talk with our two boys. Tyler, age 6, and his brother Thomas, age 9.
For our catch up, I caught the boys on a Saturday afternoon, playing on the shore.
CJ: Hello, boys. What are you doing today?
Tyler: Building a sand castle.
Thomas: Yeah, we're just hangin' out. Like we do every Saturday now that we don't have to uh, you know. Go to work.
Tyler: I wanna go play on the inner tube.
Thomas: Alright, we'll do that after we're done talking to this guy.
CJ: Let's start with you, Tyler. How do you like your new status?
Tyler: My what?
Thomas: We brought his uh...ability level to that of an average six year old.
CJ: Did he permit this?
Thomas: Oh yeah! Yeah, he insisted.
CJ: But you still retain your adult sensibilites.
Thomas: (shrugs) Yeah but I don't cause trouble. Unlike some people. (eyes his new brother with a warning glare)
CJ: Tyler, how do you like being a little kid again?
Tyler: I wanna be a grown up! I want to ride a motorcycle! (stomps feet repeatedly making these demands)
Thomas: (through closed teeth) Quiet, shrimp. (to me) Just ignore him. He just gets testy sometimes. Our new dads are real good to us.
CJ: Yes, they have legal authority over you now that you are a minor. So you aren't a qualifier for a Chronivac to use yourself. By using Chronivac you automatically agree to any changes made to you by either yourself or others, and legally your former son is now your guardian. How do you feel about the arrangement currently?
Thomas: It's alright with me. I mean, I was angry at first but the more time that went by, (shrugs). My son wanted to be a grown up, he gets all the pressure that comes with that. Meanwhile, I'm doing great in school and I can avoid all the mistakes I made by redoing things over again.
CJ: So you're glad your son used the machine without your permission?
Thomas: I know it sounds strange but I'm perfectly happy. And Tyler, well, it's really for the best he stays this way. Dad...that is Alex. My former son. He was the one that made all the changes. I mean I agreed vocally to the Chronivac when I first got it but I discounted it as some game or trick. He just beat me to the punch. And he had, well, good reason to be mad at Tyler.
CJ: Was Tyler an abusive parent?
Thomas: I wouldn't say abusive, but...definitely harsh. He took out his belt every now and then.
CJ: On Jeremy.
Thomas: Yeah. Alex and me get along great and always have but Jeremy was always getting yelled at by his dad over here. (looks at Tyler)
Tyler: I used to have a son, wight?
CJ: That's right, Tyler. In fact, let me show you a picture of how you used to look, so our audience at home can get your reaction.
Tyler: Dat's me! Me, I'm the Dad not Jeremy! (begins to cry)
Thomas: Stop it! You're acting like a brat! Do you want me to tell our Dads?
Tyler: (sniffs) N-n-no.
Thomas: Then suck it up. Yeah, we both used to be big men.
CJ: And can you tell our audience what you did for a living?
Thomas: We were both truck drivers. It's how we met and became friends. I later became a handyman.
CJ: And would you describe yourself as happy?
Thomas: Not really. More like stuck in a job I'd come to hate. I always really wanted to go to college to become a scientist.
Thomas: My Dad, Alex that is. He says I can do it if I apply myself.
CJ: Would you have described yourself as homophobic before the big change in your life happened?
Thomas: No, I mean...I didn't believe in gay marriage and that has definitely changed. I see my former son and his partner and I get real mad now when people say they don't have a real marriage. But I never had anything against gay people. Tyler here, now that was different.
CJ: Tyler, is that true? Did you not like gay people?
Tyler: My Dad made me into a lil kid.
CJ: Yes...yes I see that. (back to Thomas) So how would you describe Tyler's reaction to finding out his son was gay?
Thomas: Not good. He never really found out until the big change, though. But before he was always yelling at Jeremy for being too girly. Not to dance like a girl or listen to girly music or to do anything that would make him into a faggot. He pretty much hated gays.
CJ: How about now?
Thomas: One of the things the Chronivac did was to erase that part of his mind...he knows some people hate gays but he's never felt that himself.
CJ: On to the subject of willpower. Jeremy was able to make himself and Alex into grown men and you two into little boys. How long did that take?
Thomas: Not long. The matter of a day, in fact. And reality now supports that fact. As far as anyone is concerned I've always been Alex's son and Tyler has always been Jeremy's and we are a family unit now.
CJ: But Tyler only consented to being changed by the Chronivac after the fact, yes?
Thomas: Yes, Jeremy forced him to accept permanent changes.
CJ: Legally we have the right to change Tyler back, but upon reviewing his history we made the decision to keep him as he is. Do you have any problems with that decision yourself?
Thomas: No, it was the right one. He is much better off this way. I can't imagine him going back to the same miserable, angry guy he was before. He'll grow up again and be better off for it.
CJ: Do you mind if I show you a picture of how you used to look?
Thomas: Not at all. (smiles)
Thomas: No, none. I'll get there again some day.
CJ: Thank you both for your time.
The next section of our interview will be between the two new fathers in this family, Alex and Jeremy. We'll start with Alex. I caught Alex while he was finishing up a conference call at work.
CJ: Alex, great to meet you.
Alex: Likewise. Please, take a seat.
CJ: Alex, I've just finished interviewing your two boys.
Alex: Light of my life. Couldn't be prouder of those two.
CJ: They both seem to be in excellent health..How about emotionally? How do you think their transition is going?
Alex: Well Tyler sometimes gets a little irate, but we are usually able to calm him down again pretty easily. Honestly he's not missing out on all that much. His life before was a train wreck.
CJ: Yes, in reviewing his case, he did have the legal right to be changed back but we had final say.
Alex: (laughing) And I appreciate your decision!
CJ: You're welcome. But tell me, how about you? How happy are you in comparison to before? You were not the one who made any of the changes, correct?
Alex: That is. It was Jeremy that made the changes.
CJ: He made you into a grown up first to test the machine, correct?
Alex: Yes, I grew right out of my shirt and shorts and shoes in front of his eyes. I still remember the look on his face!
CJ: Describe those first few hours.
Alex: Well I was exploring a whole new world. I got to my dad's closet and put on some of his clothes and the fact they fit me made me just delighted. I was so overjoyed. Then, as I remember, Jeremy went right for it. He made himself a grown up and put in all these abilities for himself. We went down to the beach and all these girls were checking us out. I didn't know he'd made us both gay until I started checking out guys asses!
CJ: How did the rest of that day go?
Alex: We spent the rest of the day together. I fell in love with him that day. I did. The chest of a god, and his eyes sparkling in the light of the setting sun on the beach. He kissed me and I kissed back. I said, we can't stay this way, our dads will kill us. He said, 'you just let me handle that'. We had to sneak into the house. We got to my room and made the changes so that our dads would shrink over the next hour. He went home to watch his dad and I came home to mine.
CJ: Did you regret the decision? Did your dad ever do anything to really deserve it?
Alex: Honestly I thought it would be fun for him. I asked the Chronivac for Dad's hidden desires and found out he often missed being a child. I wanted to help him out. Most cases like this are done for revenge but mine was done out of love.
CJ: But when he initially shrunk...
Alex: Oh, he was terrified. I held him as he was a child again and told him I would take care of him. It took a number of hours for him to calm down. And then...
CJ: Then Jeremy brought Tyler home.
Alex: Yes, we decided rather quickly we should all live in one house. It was safer and our relationship was sealed by it. We moved quickly.
CJ: Do you have any regrets?
Alex: Honestly, I have the abilities now to do a job that I love. Jeremy saw to that. I sometimes miss being a kid again. I'd like to have a weekend here or there where I could just go back but I would be afraid of my boys taking advantage of that.
CJ: It sounds like your former dad has really accepted his new role being your son. How does that make you feel.
Alex: Well, real good. Real good. I love my son. I would do anything for him.
CJ: Thank you so much, Alex.
Alex: Thank you!
For our last interview I accompanied Alex as he came home to his husband, Jeremy.
Jeremy: Hey check it out. Do you think I should make myself taller?
Alex: I think you're plenty tall enough. Any taller and I'll need a step ladder. (the two kiss)
CJ: Jeremy, glad to meet the man of the hour.
Jeremy: Well it's good to be a man, period, Carl.
Alex: Let's go inside. The boys are just helping me get dinner ready.
The scene is peaceful for the next hour as the family prepares their meal and invites me to sit down and break bread with them. Afterwards, the kids go upstairs and the adults talk in the living room. Jeremy offers us all microbrew beers, which I accept.
CJ: In reviewing cases for Chronivac Industries, our agents have to decide which changes would make better permanent scenarios. Most of the time our subjects...er...customers fulfill big fantasies but we ultimately bring things back to "normal" as it were. In your case, we didn't.
Jeremy: (smiling) So did we win the jackpot or what?
CJ: (laughing) It's more like you used the Chronivac to better your reality. We look for that. So it's always a pleasure to see a family succeed as a result of our technology. (both men smile and Jeremy puts his arm around Alex). When you first saw Alex grow up before your eyes, did you know you wanted to be with him romantically?
Jeremy: I knew before that! We were only 11 years old but I had been fantasizing about him. I knew I was gay. For sure.
CJ: You mentioned making yourself taller. Would you care to share why you didn't go more overboard than you did?
Jeremy: Alex convinced me, in the long run. He said bodybuilders who are really huge draw way more attention to themselves. We're both in good shape. We didn't see a need to push it. When the Chronivac disappeared a week had gone by and we had already started our new jobs. So we didn't mind.
CJ: How about those new jobs? And job skills for that matter?
Jeremy: I love it. I love my job. I'm a coach at the local high school. Basketball and baseball and I teach P.E. Love it. Wouldn't trade it for anything. Besides I gave Alex the know how to make enough money to last us for quite some time.
Alex: (laughing) Yeah but I'm adjusting to being a businessman, still. I love how confident I feel. It's a tremendous boon.
Jeremy: Yeah, me too. The confidence is one of the best parts about being a grown up.
CJ: What would you say is your greatest challenge right now?
Alex: Not working too much. I tend to be a workaholic but I have to tell myself I have two boys at home that need me.
Jeremy: For me it would have to be the actual parenting, making sure that my new son doesn't repeat the mistakes he made before. I want him to be a good person.
CJ: Thank you both so much for inviting our readers into your home.
Jeremy and Alex: Our pleasure.
After the interviewer from Chronivac left, Jeremy watched him through the blinds.
"Well he thinks we're one big happy family," said Alex.
"We are. All except for little Tyler. Which reminds me..." Big Jeremy pounded up the stairs. "JEREMY! Get your ass out here!"
Jeremy came out, looking at his former son towering above him.
"Yes? Uh, daddy?"
"Good, I'm glad you remembered to call me that, dummy. I found your toys all over the living room earlier." Jeremy grabbed little Tyler's hands. "What did I tell you about that? HUH?"
"I'm sorry, daddy."
"Yeah, you're sorry. You used to yell at me all the time for that? Remember?"
The little boy sniffed. "I'm sorry. But you're my daddy now! Please don't punish me!"
"I won't. If you can beat me at arm wrestling."
"But I can't do that!"
"Sure you can. Come on, tiger. Try to beat your old man." Jeremy invited him downstairs where Alex followed.
"Daddy, help me!" little Tyler turned to Alex for help. Alex just scoffed at him.
"You aren't my kid," he said with his arms crossed, looking away. Tyler nearly cried. He was right. He had no real family. Everything was just terribly wrong because he had been a bad daddy before. Now the tables were turned.
"Now come on, arm wrestle me and if you win you aren't grounded for a week. Come on, you got a good chance. Ready. Go!" Right away Jeremy made it seem like he was trying but that Tyler was winning. Tyler grinned for a while and thought he might win. Then Jeremy quickly finished the game and smirked at his diminutive father. "Oops. Guess you lose."
"Do you always have to do that?" Alex said, after Tyler had gone upstairs to think about what he'd done.
"I'm strict but fair. Do you want him to turn into some pussy faggot?"
"Very funny." They kissed passionately. "But seriously if the Chronivac people find out, you and I could be in big trouble."
"OH, fine. I'll be nice from now on. No making fun. But I'm not being mean like he was, not even by a fraction."
"Did Carl tell you if we could get access to a Chronivac again?"
"Yeah, he said he could send us another one. I would love nothing better than to have some fun at school."
"But nothing permanent."
"Have you told him that he is set to not age for the next twenty years? That for the next few decades he'll be stuck as a little kid, with no one having any awareness of it? And that we won't age, either? Only Thomas?"
"I thought I'd break it to him over breakfast." The two lovers smiled at each other. They had a great life...all thanks to Chronivac Industries!