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They boarded the small aircraft in Melbourne, having travelled for over 20 hours from London. Anne the Managing Director from Baby Dreams was travelling with Jane (the Sales Executive) and another member of the team from the Institute called Beatrice (who was the newly appointed Nutrition Manager). They were making their way up to the Gold Coast where news of their venture had generated the chance to set up an Australian wing to their operation.
Anne watched as their bags were loaded into the small hold at the rear of the aircraft, she had brought samples of the nappies, plastic pants and other baby equipment that had been developed in the many subsidiaries of her growing empire. In the UK they now had over a hundred regressed workers who had been reduced to total nappy dependence and the figure was growing but too slowly to support the growing demands for their goods. Australia was an ideal location, they spoke the same language, had the same mentality and we eager to join in the success of the future of the business.
The regression techniques were fairly well developed, they no longer had any instances of mental damage since the new brain washing techniques had been refined and developed to a really effective level. However, there was one problem that seemed to be crop up from time to time and that was that the some of recently regressed workers would start to grow up again and regain control of their potty training despite the frequent reinforcement tapes and techniques that they had developed for their mummies and handlers.
They had tried dozens of different techniques, but it was Beatrice who had come up with the most natural and simple solution of all. She had recruited mothers with children of between one and two years of age who had been breast feeding their babies. These women, often short of cash were encouraged to maintain their milk supply and join the staff at excellent wages to take part in their programme. The success rates were now absolute and there was not a single case of their newly converted staff regaining any control. Beatrice herself had four children and had breast fed all of them. She had been a wet nurse for a few years before joining the institute and was a prolific lactator whose voluminous breasts produced an ample supply of milk. She had religiously used her breast pump every four hours during the trip to relieve the continuous supply of milk from her breasts and had almost filled the bottles that she had placed them in the ice box that she had carefully stowed in the overhead locker. No doubt the local maternity hospital would be grateful for a supply of milk in their premature baby unit.
Her four boys were receiving their education at the Institute, needless to say that neither of the two youngest had been potty trained and the two older boys aged six and eight had been quickly put back in nappies and within a few months had forgotten all about their potty training and were no better than their two younger siblings when it came to control. She noted that her children were polite, loving and totally well-behave, unlike the unruly children of her acquaintances.
The small plane slowly started to fill with passengers. It was not a full flight by any means and out of the dozen or so seats there were only four additional passengers. One was an attractive young woman carrying a small baby in one arm and a pink baby bag with nursery prints on her other. The man behind her was clearly her husband who was a tall rugged man carrying a baby seat and other paraphernalia that the baby would require for the short trip.
The next passenger to board was a thin and rather anaemic looking youth who lacked both stature and personality. He entered the cabin and looked around nervously, the stewardess moved in to try and help him locate his seat, the young man seemed distraught and clumsily bumbled his way down the thin aisle bumping and catching his small rucksack on everything and everybody in his path. He caught the woman who was trying to settle her baby in the carrier seat with his pack and she gave him an evil stare.
"Be careful" she retorted, "can't you see I have a young baby here?"
The lad mumbled an apology and continued until he was sitting next to Beatrice on the other side of the aisle near the rear of the small aircraft.
The pilot and co-pilot could be seen through the small door that opened onto the flight deck. The stewardess put her head in and said something that nobody could hear and then closed the door. The fasten seatbelts sign illuminated and the stewardess closed the external door. The propellers started to roar and gather revolutions. The cabin reverberated to the engines and conversation was drowned by the roaring drone. The baby started to emit a loud wail and the mother opened up the baby bag and took out a dummy which she tried to push into the baby's mouth. The baby struggled to resist the insertion but soon relented and the cries slowly dissolved into gentle sobs and then stopped altogether as the soother took its effect.
The stewardess went through the safety presentation and then walked down the cabin checking that all tray tops were securely stowed, overhead lockers were closed and seat belts were firmly affixed before taking her own seat at the front of the cabin.
The plane taxied to the end of the runway and the engine pitch increased as the plane strained against the brakes holding it fast. In a few seconds the plane was rushing down the runway building speed. Beatrice looked at the young lad who was clutching the arm rests with white knuckles and had his eyes squeezed firmly shut. Beatrice looked at him and nudged Anne who was sitting beside her in the window seat.
"A potential candidate if ever I saw one" she said tittering.
"Who knows" said Anne "he looks like he needs his mummy right now!"
Jane sitting behind the two of them leant forward between the two seats and said "I am sure one of our large dummies would give him some comfort, shall I give him one?" she laughed opening her bag and taking out a blister pack in which was a large pink dummy with a large teat from their plastics factory.
"Jane! You can't" exclaimed Anne as Jane reached over the aisle and gave the lad a tap on his arm. The lad opened his eyes with a start and recoiled in horror as he noticed the dummy being proffered to him.
"What?" he started to say
"You look frightened sweetheart and we thought this might make you more comfortable. Just pop it in your mouth and relax, you will feel a lot better I promise you" explained Jane.
"All young ones like a dummy, it makes them feel comfortable, look at the baby up front. Nice and calm and no worries at all. What's your name?"
"Gerry" he replied "but I don't need a dummy thank you" he said unclipping his belt and moving nearer to the window in the spare seat next to him.
The three women roared with laughter and sat back as the aircraft reached its cruising altitude. The seat belt sign went out and the captain told everybody to sit back and enjoy the ride. The weather was clear all the way to their destination and there would be no turbulence that day.
The flight was uneventful for over an hour, the stewardess had served them drinks and was about to start the tray service when some sandwiches were going to be served along with some sweet confections. Suddenly the engine noise from the starboard wing started to change, the engine started to sound rough and uneven with a large vibration that started to shake the whole aircraft. Everybody looked at each other for an explanation when all of a sudden a gaping hole appeared in the fuselage close to the woman with the young baby. The seat behind her that had held her husband simply disappeared taking the floor to which it had been attached with him. The air rushed into the cabin and the space was full of flying debris. Everybody screamed as the plane plunged into a spin. The woman clutched her baby screaming, Gerry was screaming out the loudest and in the fright his bladder released soaking the front of his trousers and soaking the seat on which he sat. The seat belt signs went back on, as the captain told everybody to sit down and remain calm as he dropped the plane down to a thousand feet. He was flying on the port engine as the starboard engine had lost a considerable part of its propeller and ceased turning.
The stewardess had fallen to the floor and was working her way back to the pilots on hands and knees. She checked all the seat belts and examined the gaping hole behind the woman with the baby who was now quite hysterical. The plane was starting to fall apart and cracks were appearing in the ceiling of the cabin, as the captain and the co-pilot fought to regain control. The task was impossible and all of a sudden the battle was lost and the plane again started to plunge. The pilots did their best to control the situation but the damage was too great as they attempted to land the plane. It hit the ground at a terrifying speed and the aircraft split in two leaving the three women and Gerry in the rear section to skid along on its belly, the remainder of the plane soared into the air momentarily and then fell back to the ground in a great fire ball. There were no survivors from the wing section forward.
Time passed, it seemed like hours, but in reality it was probably minutes. Jane had smacked into the seats in front of her and was badly lacerated and bruised. Anne had somehow protected herself with her coat and pillow and was amazingly unscathed. Beatrice had been thrown out of her seat and was lying on what remained of the aisle. Of Gerry there was no sign, the huge gash in the fuselage had continued aft and his seat had been ripped away from the floor.
The three women managed to pull themselves together, Jane and Anne both being nurses found a first aid kit in the rear locker and patched each other up and went to the aid of Beatrice who apart from some massive bruising (mainly to those magnificent breasts which had protected her from a more damaging effect of the impact) was in remarkably good condition apart from where her milk had leaked and given her two huge wet patches on the front of her blouse.
They walked out of the wreckage amazed that they had survived the horror of the crash. It was then that they saw Gerry tangled up in the remains of the side of the aircraft and his seat. His legs were bent at an unnatural angle and had to be broken. They rushed as quickly as they could to him and pulled at the wreckage with the bare hands. Eventually they had him free of his chair and lying on the floor of the desert. He was barely alive and covered in blood. They did their best to clean him up and straighten him out.
"Both his ankles are broken" said Jane, "we must try and splint them up, but first we must deal with some of these deeper gashes. Anne, see if the remains of the galley has any honey, we will pack his larger wounds with it and then I will sew him up as best I can. Beatrice, I see that the hold with our luggage is almost in one piece, see what you can salvage will you."
Jane and Beatrice patched up Gerry while Anne went to see if anybody had survived at the front of the aircraft. The pall of smoke rising into the air gave her little hope of success. As she walked along she found the pink baby bag which she picked up. It had a bottle of juice, some disposable nappies and a few jars of baby food that had miraculously survived the impact. As she approached the rest of the wreck she could see that there were no survivors, a fierce fire still raged in what was left of the cabin and the front of the plane was totally smashed. It was hopeless.
She walked back in tears the baby bag on her shoulder.
"Anything Anne?" asked Jane tying off one of her stitches
"They never stood a chance" she said tearfully "they never stood a chance". She paused to reflect and nobody said a word until Gerry groaned. He was clearly in a lot of pain.
"I wish we had some morphine or pain killers, all I can find is some analgesics and he is going to need a lot more than that" said Jane.
"We need to make an inventory of all we can salvage. We need fuel to burn and we need shelter but most of all we need water and food. Gerry is going to be alright aren't you pet?" she said gently rubbing his cheek "and we need to stop Gerry from dehydrating and we need to get him out of the sun. Get our samples and take out one of the bonnets, we can protect his head from the sun if nothing else. His clothes are ruined and he has wet his trousers, so cut them all off and we can put him in a romper for now. With those terrible injuries to his ankles we had better put him in a disposable nappy with a terry over the top just in case of leaks. Did we bring some of the woollen shawls because we could cover his legs with one of them? We will use the baby wipes to clean him up, because water is too precious.
The three worked like beavers. The smell of aviation fuel worried them and they decided to make a shelter from whatever they could find away from the main wreckage. They hauled all the cargo out of the hold and found a large storage bin to store the food. Water was in very short supply and would have to be rationed. They had six bottles of Beatrice's milk and another of juice which would be useful and they had managed to find a case of beer, three cartons of juice and twenty bottles of drinking water. Also in the cargo were some exotic meats and goods being shipped out to a delicatessen? There were also some cases of cheese biscuits and other unusual foods like dried meats. All in all they had been very lucky.
Gerry was cleaned up and in all had needed about twenty stitches. Both his ankles had been firmly strapped, but the compound fracture with the open gash was a huge worry. They had covered it in a huge dollop of honey and done their best, but it was excruciatingly painful for him to move. The girls discussed him in hushed voices away from the shelter.
"If we do not get help soon, there is every chance that it will get gangrene" said Jane "we have to keep him totally immobilised, but the pain is very bad for him. I wish there was something we could do."
"We could dose him up with the miniature bottles of spirit on board" suggested Anne "but this would leave him awfully dehydrated and may do more harm than good".
"If the worst came to the worst we could amputate his foot, but that is not something I would like to do in this unsterile environment" said Jane "I would hope we are rescued long before that ever became necessary".
"Make him a baby" said Beatrice suddenly animated
"What?" they both exclaimed
"Make him a baby so that he does not know what is going on. I can feed him my breast milk which I am quite sure you would not want to drink and that leaves more liquids for us. We know that with our techniques we could take him right back so that he would not know what was happening. You know what they say what the head does not know the heart does not grieve over."
"Beatrice, I think you are a genius, what have we to lose and more to the point look how Gerry would gain. We could make him sleep lots more and behave like a very small baby so that he would not move so much with far less mobility and improve his chances of healing".
The girls went over to Gerry who was moaning in pain, Anne who was the accomplished hypnotist spoke to him softly for an hour and then stood up to report to the other girls. I think we should tidy him up and give him a change, I think he has wet his nappy now. Between them they gently lifted him up and took off his wet nappy, he moaned gently but accepted the dummy from Jane without a fight. The terry nappy was still dry as the disposable had done a perfect job. They replaced his disposable and pinned him in his terry nappy and gently worked the plastic pants up his legs. The dressing they had applied seemed to be clean and the bleeding had stopped. Jane did up the poppers on the cream romper which had lines of beautiful smocking across the breast. He lay on a large multicoloured play pen mat seemingly contented with his eye lids fluttering between being awake and asleep.
"Try feeding him Bea" said Anne
Beatrice sat beside him on the mat and carefully removed his bonnet and took out his dummy. Around his neck she tied a terry bib trimmed in pink satin with a picture of a little duck in the middle. She gently manoeuvred him across her lap and took out her breast which was desperate for release and started to trickle milk before she could attach Gerry. He felt the nipple on the side of his cheek and instinctively latched on to her prominent nipple. He sucked with amazing gentleness and took the whole of the first breast without any trouble. She released him and having replaced the first breast in her white nursing bra took out the second and fed Gerry. He seemed very peaceful and when she sat him up a little and rubbed his back with small circular movements let out an enormous belch. She wiped his cheek to remove a small trickle of milk that had escaped during his suckling.
"He seems to be adjusting extremely well Anne, you did a super job on him and he seems to be a perfect baby. I have never had a beginner as good as this one" she said replacing his dummy which started to wiggle in and out as he sucked it as if it was the most natural thing in the world. In minutes a thin line of drool was running down onto his bib.
The day was starting to come to a close and they replaced his cotton sun bonnet with a little woolly hat that would keep his head warm and put his hands in some white mittens tied with pink satin ribbons in order to prevent him touching his dressings. They struggled to fit him into a pink woollen pram suit that would cocoon him against the coolness of the night which was quickly dropping in temperature.
They lay him back on the vinyl mat and covered him in a large baby blanket that kept him snug and warm. Anne took her iPod and inserted the earpieces into his ears and started it playing.
"We need to continue the reinforcement while he sleeps" she explained "he really is one of the most beautiful babies we have ever made, don't you think?"
In unison they all agreed as they looked down on the baby sleeping peacefully and sucking on his dummy for all he was worth.
They took stock again of their situation and collected things that could be burnt during the night to stay warm. They had a number of siren suits in their sample stock and agreed that it would be a good idea if they each wore one to stay warm. They also put on the mittens and little woollen hats. They laughed as they looked at each other and tried to break down a wooden crate for fuel.
"Four babies in the wilderness" said Beatrice.
They ate the sandwiches which they had found in the remains galley and drank the juice. The fire quickly took hold and the three women bathed and redressed their injuries which thankfully had not required stitching. They snuggled either side of baby Gerry being careful not to disturb him or touch his injured feet. They put the shawls and blankets over them and snuggled down.
"How long do you think it will be before we are rescued?" asked Beatrice
"Oh it will not be long at all" said Jane "they will be looking for us now and we must keep the fire going all night."
They settled down for the night deciding that it would do no good to keep one person on guard. In the morning they would lay out some stones to make an arrow and spell out the letters "HELP".
Baby Gerry was the first to wake them and Beatrice quickly breast fed him, as she did so she snaked her had through the many layers of his clothing and managed to slip a finger under his plastic pants into his two nappies. Both were very wet and the programming seemed to be holding well.
He opened his eyes and tried to speak. The thorough hypnotism had robbed him of any words and although his mouth tried to form words he thought he should know there was nothing. He looked very puzzled and accepted his dummy before he started to cry. The girls went about the important task of survival and again searched the wreckage for anything useful.
Time passed by and after three days they were running very short of supplies. A feeling of gloom was beginning to settle oin the makeshift camp. Baby Geraldine (as he had now become called by the girls) was almost out of disposable nappies and there was no water to wash the terry towelling ones. He was starting to develop a fever and despite repeated reinforcement of his hypnotic instructions, there was no doubt that he was in continual pain. The girls were very concerned about him and did all they could to keep him content.
The joy of the helicopter overhead was hard to describe when it appeared out of nowhere on the fourth day after their accident. The crew and paramedics on board quickly came on the scene and were more than a little surprised to see Gerry dressed up as a baby and sucking on a dummy. He was immaculately clean given the dreadful conditions and he even had a clean bib on that was wet from his dribbling. His feet were encased in delicate booties tied up with ribbons over some skilful first aid. Inside his romper suit they found some beautifully stitched wounds that were clean and healing well. His thick terry nappy was clean on and he was safely encased in some translucent vinyl popper pants (which the girls found easier to use with his injuries to his feet).
They had a thousand questions, but decided to let them wait until they were safely in hospital.
The hospital staff was very attentive and the three women were bathed, cleaned and thoroughly checked over and found to be remarkable fit. Gerry was rushed into surgery and although his fracture was quite badly infected they were confident that they could save his foot. The simple fracture was set in plaster. Despite all their attempts, they could not get a word out of Gerry, nor could they take away his dummy without him becoming totally agitated. They removed his wet nappy and took him out of his baby clothes, but he refused to let go of the soft shawl which he hugged closely to him. The girls had explained that the nappy was essential if they were going to immobilise him and to keep his wounds clear of infection, because they did not have a catheter. His return to babyhood was determined by the hospital's psychiatrist to be a defence mechanism which he had adopted to protect himself from the horrors of his dreadful experience. Nothing could be done to bring him out of this condition and all attempts to take him out of nappies was met with accidents. They tried putting him on bedpans, they tried making him sit on a giant potty which they had managed to find buried deep in the storeroom and the toilet met with such resistance that they had to concede and put him back in the nappies on which he seemed totally dependant.
His wounds healed remarkably well, but he refused to put any weight on his damaged ankles and decided that crawling was a far better way to get around. They were amazed that he always needed to sleep whenever he had been fed. His use of a cup was disastrous and he seemed very ill at ease with a sippy cup and so they gave him all his liquids by bottle. The girls called on him every day and Beatrice would pop him on her breast while the others kept look out. He wore pyjamas over his nappy which made changing him very difficult and awkward. Even the hospital had to admit that it was far from convenient and agreed to the girl's suggestion that he wear a onesie with snaps at the crotch to make his nappy changes easier. They also put a soft terry bib round his neck to cope with his dribbling and the hospital staff had to agree that this helped to reduce the soreness of his neck which had started to develop since he had been in their care.
Following the crash, the police had tried to get in contact with Gerry's parents, but it turned out that only his mother was still alive and she was quite elderly and not up to the long flight to come and visit him. It was explained to them that Gerry had regressed mentally as a result of his accident and that three nurses on the plane had taken to looking after him and were visiting him every day. It was explained that had it not been for them their son may well not have survived the trauma. After three days the girls asked if he could be discharged into their care and their mother gladly signed the consent forms for him to be released into their care.
It was about three months later that Geraldine finally found her final home at the Institute where she had been allowed to grow up just a little bit and now knew almost fifty babyish words. They trained her how to use the hemming machine and she turned squares of terry cloth into nappies as she sat securely fastened in her specially adapted high chair sucking on her dummy the whole time she was working. She had to stop for her nappy changes and of course Beatrice was always there a beddy-byes time to give her some num-num before cot time.
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