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By Les Lea
It was a
shame for Andrew; so much promise, so much talent, so
much money… just the wrong time to have a break down.
Andrew ‘The Frick’ Simmons, was all but burnt out after
an extremely busy few years. He’d built up the business
“The FrickFactory” from a simple, though addictive, game
he’d created when he was seventeen, which had gone
viral. The add-ons that he attached to this
unpretentious computer programme ‘Frickland’ had
launched a business that escalated, in less than seven
years, to be worth $56million. We know this because that
was for how much he’d just sold it.
almost at the point of collapsing from nervous
exhaustion. It didn’t help that his small, frail, pale
body, which had hardly seen sunlight over the past seven
years, looked like it could have done with a good meal.
He was burnt out and having such terrible trouble
sleeping he was becoming addicted to drugs to help
alleviate his many problems. Those seven years where,
almost single-handedly, he’d developed and designed the
‘Frickland‘ franchise and the harder, more
phantasmagorical ‘Conspiracy Gene’ game, had been
intense and draining.
He was up
against a huge number of other exciting computer games
on the market and it was a battle to keep up with all
the leaps in tech, story lining, design and artwork. In
fact, every day brought something new and revolutionary
in to his business. Innovation was nonstop and although
at first it was fun and challenging, for Andrew it had
become mind-numbingly terrifying. He was descending into
an abyss of his own creation, whilst his reliance on
chemical highs to help him exist was taking its toll.
Every one of his
friends thought the shedding of his company would help,
but it didn’t. His anxiety level was through the roof
and, living alone, in the spacious mansion that only
success can buy, was making him feel isolated, even when
surrounded by people. He was getting desperate. He was
sure his mind was going and there was a creeping sense
of paranoia that drove every decision.
With all that
money in the bank, and the fact that he no longer had
the responsibility of his company to worry about, you
would have thought was enough to ease his predicament.
If anything, his mood got darker and he became a very
unpleasant, secretive, angry and deceitful young man.
Somehow he managed to annoy business colleagues,
frustrate family and alienate his best friends, which
led to being more solitary.
His parents had
begged him to return to his mid-western home. They
thought rest and recuperation away from the pressures of
California was all he needed to get himself back to his
creative best. He was adamant that he didn’t need any
help, convinced if he did it would be used against him
in some way. He screamed he needed nothing from anybody,
there was nothing wrong with him but, at the back of his
mind, he knew everyone was out to get him.
A little rest, a
little escape from all these annoying voices was all he
really needed. He had to get away from all these leeches
that would suck the life out of him. It was they who
were the problem not him. The paranoia was no longer
creeping… it was full blown suspicion.
One morning his
personal assistant Becky found her boss lying in a pool
of vomit, shivering and crying for his mommy. She
herself had known the problems of a personal breakdown
but had recovered thanks to her psychotherapist Doctor
Drummond. Once she’d cleaned Andrew up she begged him to
try her doctor. She claimed that after only a couple of
hours of therapy there was an instant improvement. Her
boss was dismissive of her claims but she insisted that
the doctor had hypnotised her, found the root of her
problem and, by regressing her back to that moment, she
had confronted the problem at its cause. She claimed
that she’d been 100% calmer since those sessions and
thanked the psychiatrist almost daily in her prayers for
delivering her from a whirlpool of doubt and terror that
up until that moment, she couldn’t explain.
have none of it, yelling and calling her a liar. Becky
begged him to at least try him but the foul verbal abuse
was just too much and she was glad that the following
day was her last in his employment. When he’d sold the
company, his employees went with the new owners, Becky
wasn’t needed but thankfully she’d found a new position
and couldn’t wait to leave now her boss was such an
obnoxious prick. In many ways she was looking forward to
telling him just what she thought but it would have to
wait until the last pay-check was signed then she could
walk out and never have to worry about the jerk again.
morning was a disaster. She arrived to find him lying
unconscious, surrounded by empty bottles and an
assortment of Class A drugs and, on top of all that,
he’d shit and pissed himself. Becky was at her wits end,
finally she called for help.
Head clear, mind
refocused, Andrew was enjoying this new game, why he
hadn’t thought of it before was a mystery. Instead of
progressing Frickland he was going back to how it all
started; The Frickland Nursery. The entire concept was
there before him; it was bright, colourful and fun, a
sort of cross between The Sims and Rugrats; entertaining
cartoon characters you controlled. The simulation and
sets were designed for the most enjoyment a child could
The game was
clever, easy and at times fiendish. At each stage they
could graduate up to the next age group if they achieved
certain levels and collected special prizes. They had a
time scale to accomplish otherwise they were returned to
the beginning of the game. Andrew thought this was a
cunning part of the experience because, no matter how
advanced you were, at any moment, when timed out, you
could be returned to a crying baby and the entire
process would start from scratch.
relishing developing this game more than any other, well
apart from that first one which had set his career in
motion. Thankfully, now there was no pressure he was
taking great delight in making each character age
appropriate; diapers, rompers, onesies, pacifiers,
stuffed toys, toys in general, powders, lotions, plastic
pants, rubber sheets, cribs, nursery rhymes, mobiles… he
couldn’t stop once he started. ‘The Nursery’ was going
to be the best ever. The walls were all
bright colours; cartoons festooned the surfaces, whilst
the personality of each child was sweet and cute they
were clothed in appealingly decorated diapers. Some of
the kids would be timid, others adventurous but all were
adorable wearing their little baby outfits.
Some of the
characters were new-borns, others crawling and some
toddling around. They walked and talked like babies and
each wore a very visible diaper; some wore more than
one. The thickness was a penalty for not achieving
certain ‘points’ or ‘prizes’ throughout the game.
Occasionally a grown-up (Nanny), would come in and
change, discipline, dress or insist on ‘nap time’ for
various individuals as needed.
To gain age
levels they had to collect colourful items like golden
pacifiers (there were seven colours to be won to get up
to the golden prize), four layered lace pink panties
(pink was the top plastic panties you could achieve
though there were four other colours and different
layered ruffles to attain first). Food, baby bottles,
sippy-cups, bibs and playtime were all graded and
awarded points and only once you’d achieved the top
level in each of these could you advance.
getting more and more excited as each new component of
his game dropped into place or he expanded on the idea.
was heavily populated. Padded bottoms were everywhere as
the cast crawled or toddled to various areas of play
where some tried to gain the rewards that meant they
would be able to ‘grow up’. Baby boys
and baby girls cried, wet and soiled themselves if they
failed and that set them back a stage which they had to
repeat. The changing mat also meant that more diapers
were added, which slowed the toddler down and made
achieving the next level slightly more difficult.
to himself when he saw that one of the 30 month-old
toddlers lost all his rewards and had to start at the
beginning – so it was back to being a baby again. That
was a penalty which seemed extreme but was fun to have.
Crying was just as much a part of being a child as
giggling, or moodiness, or sleeping, so at times the
nursery was both chaotic and peaceful.
it was the best game his imagination had ever created.
He loved the colourful characters he’d produced. He
loved the innocent but slightly edgy nursery world in
which they lived. He loved the fact that it was a fun
place to play. Every game was an adventure; every detail
of a kindergarten was included, from the selection of
soft and furry toys to the lettered building bricks. It
was all so realistic, every move was accompanied by the
rustling sound of plastic diapers and plastic pants… he
could almost smell the baby powder… in fact; he could
smell the baby powder!
He looked down
at himself. He was wearing a thick, thick diaper and a
pink vest with a cartoon mouse on the front. Whilst the
cartoon mouse stayed the same the rest of the Sim-like
caricature world dissolved from colourful comic animated
figures into real people. Each of his characters was no
longer in a game but the real world. There was a
cross-section of ages and when he tried to speak the
only noise he could hear was childish gibberish.
He tried again,
but no words formed just sounds and noises those around
him responded to but couldn’t understand. The toddlers
had a few words in their vocabulary but Andrew; well he
wasn’t sure what or where he was. He looked like a
twenty-four year-old but his dress and speech were that
of a one year-old. He thought this was all part of his
own creation but now he wasn’t sure. He could only crawl
and his diaper felt full, wet and uncomfortable. He
tried to tell someone, anyone that he was having a
nightmare, but no one could understand what he was
trying to say.
His body just
wouldn’t do the things he wanted or expected it to do.
There was no coordination, no strength, even crawling
around was difficult. On top of all
that, the frustration at not being understood led him to
do what babies always do when in such a situation - he
sat in his soiled diaper and cried.
High up on the
gantry, looking down on his medical achievement, stood
the fifty year-old, white-haired and self-satisfied
Doctor Drummond; he was pleased with the way business
was progressing. The specialist area of psychiatry had
led to his ground-breaking research being financed by
the government. His responsibility was to find a
psychological way of rehabilitating hardened criminals
so that they were no longer a menace to society.
Unfortunately, his deep and controversial exploration of
the human mind had led to a few setbacks along the way,
which the government, seeing lawsuits on the horizon,
weren’t happy being associated with. His funding had
almost dried up until he’d found a way of utilising
those unforeseen but effective ‘setbacks’.
Now, with his
state-of-the-art desert retreat (psychiatric institute)
he was able to offer a service he was surprised how many
people wanted to exploit. Some patients were volunteers,
some were sent, whilst many had no choice. Most of the
‘children’ who were crawling around below were heirs to
various fortunes that either family, or Doctor Drummond
himself, had managed to convince needed to start his
specialist treatment. They all had problems of one kind
or another and hoped for a cure that the saintly (and
highly regarded) psychoanalyst might provide. Whether,
kidnapped, coerced or corralled business was doing well.
The clever and opportunistic shrink had certainly found
a market for his specialised (some might say criminal)
None of patients
were aware what their ultimate ‘cure’ would be, though
this particular outcome suited many business rivals or
disgruntled siblings. The doctor would tamper with their
minds; explode memories, kill off thought processes,
defeat certain urges, impose control, manipulate will,
rectify and regress each one of them back to those
glorious, happy, untroubled, childhood days. That was
the initial idea; however, what that actually meant was
they were destined to a lifetime of diapers and
toddlerhood… repeated ad nauseam. Visiting
guests and high powered execs took great delight in
seeing a rival reduced to diapers and building bricks
and were happy to pay for the privilege to keep that
person out of the way and incapable of a response. They
reasoned that being ‘forever a toddler’ was better than
‘not being at all’, and congratulated themselves on
being so considerate, finding a wonderful world for
their ‘adversaries’ to live out their lives. They also
loved the idea of the humiliation that a grown person
having to wear baby clothes, smocks, diapers and plastic
pants would feel, they hadn’t realised that
humiliation can only happen if the person
humiliated is aware of the fact. These babies had no
concept of anything but their toddler existence and the
childish sphere in which they blissfully lived.
No matter what
their real age, in ‘The Nursery’, no one would ever
progress past being a toddler. The nurses (or nannies to
the little ones), trained and cared for their babies in
the colourful, childish world that the good doctor had
created for them. The regression trigger he’d placed in
all of his subject’s minds was there should any start
showing signs of developing an intellect. Their entire
lives were spent as little kids playing and trying to
win prizes. He, and a couple of his technical boffins,
had come up with an app called ‘The Nursery’ so there
was a digital baby world as well as a real one in
existence. He was able to combine the two
for his tots, which gave them something to aim for, even
if that aim was bogus, after all, it did form another
part of the research. However, as soon as they reached
the advanced level (about three years-old), cleverly
they were re-set to start all over again with no memory
of what they’d already accomplished.
Smugly, as the
doctor looked down on the latest patient in his care he
smiled. After a couple of weeks intensive ‘therapy’
Little Baby Andy was now able to join all the other
babies in the nursery. His brain had needed a complete
retune but using the game and Andrew’s own programming
abilities, had been fairly easily convinced it was all
his creation. He’d planted the computer game idea, and
the characters, so deep that Andrew would have
difficulty in separating one from the other and believe
he was responsible for everything that went on. That was
until his mind refocused on the real rather than the
cartoon element then, as the doctor planned, his mind
would scramble and he’d slot right into complete
babyhood with no problem.
academic could see the newest ‘recruit’ to the nursery
sitting in his thick diaper and cute little mousey
t-shirt crying, coming to terms (or not) with his
situation. It wouldn’t take long. Soon his brain would
stop computing and start accepting, although he may
never quite be able to mentally differentiate between
the physical and digital worlds.
However, Baby Andy would be a welcome addition to the
doctor’s crazy collection of kindergarten kids. Besides,
the cute, sad-eyed, under nourished looking baby with
the huge diaper had nothing to worry about; Doctor
Drummond was going to be taking special care of him.
After all, the clinic was financially safe for quite a
while now that he had access to $56 million.
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