Everything was black to Sophie. She couldn't remember what had happened to her but it seemed that nothing really mattered. To her she was floating through air and seemingly nothing could harm her.
However this all came to a crashing end when she found herself underwater. Instinctively she began to swim back up to the surface and within seconds found herself at the surface. Quickly she took a deep breath as she tried to get her bearings back. Her head was still spinning and she was more confused than anything else. She could remember growing in size to stop the desperate man from cutting his victim but after than everything had gone black. She had no idea what had happened to her after that. One thing that she did notice about the water was that it wasn't as clear as she would have liked. She couldn't imagine what could have been inside.
Thankfully Sophie had taken swimming lessons when she had been younger and she began to swim towards the edge of what seemed to be a river. She could feel the current pulling her away and she swam as quickly as she could. However her efforts were beginning to exhaust her but after a couple of minutes her task was complete.
Sophie grabbed the edge and with all of her might pulled herself out of the water. Before she did anything else she decided to catch her breath as the swim had taken more energy out of her than she had expected. She felt like she had ran a marathon and she also felt hungry. Unfortunately she didn't have anything that she could eat so for the moment she sat down so that she could rest.
While Sophie was sitting down she began to look around in order to try and see where she was. Unfortunately it was too dark for her to see properly but much to her relief she discovered that she was still wearing her goggles. She remembered Doctor Julius telling her that she could control what vision she could see. With just a tap on a particular side she could activate either the heat vision or night vision. He could still control the vision of course but he felt that this was a minor addition for her.
Quickly Sophie tapped on the right side of her goggles and quickly she began to see heat signatures. She looked at her hands and she could see the heat radiating off of her hands and she thought that it was odd. It did remind her of a film that she had watched a couple of years ago. However this vision wasn't what she needed at that point in time, because of this she tapped on the left side of the goggles and instantly her vision changed from heat vision to night vision.
Finally Sophie could properly see the world around her and she didn't like what she could see. It was only then that she really saw that she was actually in some kind of bricked tunnel. Only moments later she realised that she was actually in the sewers below the city. She looked at the water and she realised that she had been swimming through sewage. At this point she was close to throwing up and it took all of her willpower just to keep what food she had in her stomach stable.
"Doc can you hear me?" asked Sophie as she placed her finger on her ear which was where the communicator was located. She waited for a few second but there didn't seemed to be an answer. "Doc are you there?" There was still no answer, she didn't know whether the communicator was damaged or the being so deep in the ground was blocking the signal. However it didn't change the fact that she was there alone. She began to look around and she could see a soda can not too far from her. She could see that it was seemingly gigantic to her and this was when she realised that she was tiny. "Oh God, I'm still tiny." She kicked the can but at her size it actually hurt her. The impact wasn't too much and it didn't cause her any serious injury. Instead it just caused her some pain and if anything it annoyed her rather than anything else.
Now that Sophie knew what her situation was she began to think about a way out of it. She couldn't rely on Doctor Julius helping her and it seemed that her size couldn't be increased at that point in time.
Sophie was having to depend on her mind for once and she didn't like it. She would be the first to tell a person that she wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, she was barely making her grades and she preferred more physical activities rather than mental. Unfortunately her brains was also she had and she began to use it.
She knew that the first thing that she needed to do was to discover exactly where she was. She was inside of the sewers but she didn't know where in the city she was. She could be downtown for all she knew or in the suburbs. She also thought that if she reached the surface that she would be able contact Doctor Julius. If she could do that she thought that he could at least increase her to her normal size.
However Sophie began to hear a squeaking sound. Normally she would find it cute but at her size it was terrifying. Slowly she turned around and she saw that she was face to face with a seemingly giant rat. For a moment she forgot that she was small and she thought that she was looking at a giant rat. She couldn't help but scream and she began to run away, unfortunately the rat followed her and it seemed to be faster than her.
Sophie ran as fast as she could but the rat remained close behind her. She knew that if it caught her that she would be eaten. She had imagined her dying in different ways over the years but death by a giant rat was not in those fantasies. She didn't want to die full stop but she was still tired and she knew that she couldn't keep up the pace forever. She needed to find a way to get rid of the rat and save herself.
As Sophie ran there was one thing that she noticed on the ground. There seemed to be a box of matches that were amongst some other rubbish. Without really thinking Sophie grabbed one of the matches and scrapped it along the ground in order to light it up. The sudden influx of light did blind her for the moment since she was still using her night vision. However the rat seemed to be moving back.
When Sophie's vision returned to her, she thrusted the match forwards towards the rat and it moved further away. This was when she realised that she had actually saved herself, like most animals the rat seemed to be afraid of fire and she was using this to her advantage. She continued to thrust it forward and eventually the rat ran away.
After a sigh of relief Sophie was forced to drop the match as it continued to burn away. She knew that she had scared away one rat but even with her intelligence she knew that there would be plenty more down there. It was another reason why she had to get up to the surface as quickly as she could.
One thing that Sophie did notice was that close to where she was standing was a ladder attached to the wall. When she looked up she saw a manhole right above her, normally she would think that she was saved but she could clearly see that she was too small to climb up the ladder. Even by some miracle if she were able to reach the top it would be impossible for her to move the manhole cover. Her tiny body didn't have the strength to move such a large object.
The only choice that Sophie had was to keep moving forward and hopefully find some means to reach the surface. Also she decided that she would try and contact Doctor Julius every so often and she hoped that she would get through. She hoped that he luck would hold out and she would able to get through to him. She knew that if she did get through to him that she would truly be safe.
Sophie kept walking and eventually saw a small opening that led to a pipe. It was too small for a rat to get through but it was ideal for her. She didn't know where it was going to lead but she thought that it was definitely worth a try. The smell however was almost overwhelming for her. She didn't want to imagine just what she had been swimming through and she knew that when she returned to her normal size that she was going to have a very long shower.
The pipe seemed to have no end as she continued to walk down it. It was beginning to become tighter for her, it was not because she was getting larger but the pipe itself was getting smaller. After what seemed to be a mile to her she eventually reached the other side. Unfortunately she found herself in a section of the sewer which was very similar to the section that she had just left.
This annoyed Sophie who felt that she had made no progress whatsoever. After her walk she was tired and she needed to sit down for a moment so that she could rest. Once again she tried to contact Doctor Julius but like before she had no luck. It was around this time she was really beginning to regret her decision to become a superhero. So far it had caused her more problems then she had anticipated and she was tempted just to take off the suit. However at this size it could be deadly.
One of the first warnings that Doctor Julius told her was that she should never remove her suit when her own size had been altered. He explained to her how the human body wasn't designed to be at the sizes that she would be as At-Lass. If she took off the suit she could go into shock or worse. Either way the consequences would be bad and she likely wouldn't live long to regret them.
Suddenly Sophie began to hear footsteps approaching her. Instinctively she moved and hid in the shadows. A few seconds later she saw a man wearing overalls and a hardhat walking by. At her size he looked to be gigantic and she couldn't help but feel afraid, she did wonder if that was how others would see her when she was gigantic. She could see that he was a Hispanic man and from what he was wearing she thought that he was a city worker. It did make a lot of sense in her mind and she was tempted to try and get his attention. From what she could see he was her best chance of getting out of the sewers but she knew that there was a risk to it as well.
However the pros far outweighed the cons and she decided to step out of the shadows. She shouted up at him and waved her arms in order to try and draw his attention. However this didn't work as she failed to notice that he was wearing headphones. Because of this he couldn't hear the tiny girl not too far from his feet and he just walked on without noticing her at all. She tried to run after him but at her size she was simply too slow to keep up with him and eventually he was out of sight.
This only furthered Sophie's annoyance and once again she felt that she was never going to get out of the sewers. She began to imagine living the rest of her life down there and that she would never regain her true size. She was going to be stuck at three inches tall and she would likely not survive long down there.
However Sophie did think of an idea, she might have lost the worker but she thought that if she tried to follow him that she would eventually find where he was and at the least she thought that she would find how he got inside. She was hoping that it was not from a manhole but she could at least hope.
With that she began to walk where the worker had been walking and she was constantly on the lookout for trouble. She thought that another rat might want to try its luck and attempt to take her down. She didn't think that she had the strength to fight one off and she didn't have enough energy to run away.
One thought that did cross Sophie's mind was if Doctor Julius was doing anything to try and find her. She doubted that he would just abandon her, he didn't seem to be that kind of person who would do that. Probably more importantly for him though was the fact that the suit that she was wearing would probably be the most valuable thing to mankind that he had created. It would definitely be the most valuable to the city because it was going to give them a hero that they desperately needed.
After some time of walking Sophie did begin to hear a humming sound. However rather than it being a metallic humming it definitely sounded like a man was humming. Carefully she moved forwards and much to her delight she could see the worker that she had seen just a few minutes before. Like before he was listening to some music on his headphones and he was humming along to what he was hearing.
One difference from before was the fact that he was now seemingly working. He was replacing a small pipe that was on the wall nearby. Sophie had no idea what the pipe was for exactly but at this moment in time she didn't care. All she cared about was the fact that this worker was her best chance of getting out of the sewers.
For the next several minutes Sophie stayed hidden while she watched the man working. She remained close to him so that she could grab a hold of him. She hoped that she would be so small that he wouldn't even notice her. If he did he might think that she was some kind of rodent and force her off.
It took almost an hour for the worker to finish his job and Sophie could see that he was packing his tools. This was when she realised that if she didn't act now she would probably never get out of the sewers.
As fast as her tiny legs could carry her she ran towards the man and grabbed onto his ankle. Thankfully he seemed to be oblivious to this as he just walked down the sewers for several metres until he reached a ladder which led up to a manhole. He began to climb up it but Sophie was struggling to keep her grip. With the way that he was moving his leg it made it difficult for her to stay attached. She increased her grip to its maximum and she closed her eyes. The motion was also making her feel sick but thankfully she didn't really have anything left in her stomach to throw up.
After around a minute Sophie heard the man removing the manhole above. To her it was one of the greatest sounds that she had ever heard. She just waited for him to climb up to the surface and for the first time in the last couple of hours she could finally breathe fresh air. It tasted much better than she remembered and it was a welcome relief for her to be finally back up to the surface.
Sophie no longer needed to stay attached to the man's ankle and simply let him go. She watched as he walked away and then she began to look at the world around her. It was still night time and thankfully the rain had subsided. She was in a part of the city that she didn't particularly recognise. She didn't know whether this was because she had never been there before or the fact that the world looked so different at her size. One thing that she didn't hesitate in doing was placing her finger on her ear.
"Hey Doc can you hear me?" asked Sophie. There was no response at first and she began to believe that her communicator was broken. However just when she was about to try again she heard a voice that sounded like that of an angel.
"Sophie you're still there?" replied Doctor Julius with a small amount of surprise in his voice. He had been trying to contact her for some time. He had lost her signal and began to fear the worse. "What happened to you?"
"I fell down into the sewers, but now I really need you to find me and pick me up. I've had one harrowing night and believe me all I want to do is get this suit off and have a shower. I literally stink."
"I can imagine, I've got your co-ordinates for you on the screen now and I'll have your jetpack there in a few minutes. Just sit tight and wait for it to arrive."
Sophie found a place where she could sit down and wait for her jetpack to arrive. She began to think about what had just happened and suddenly she remembered about the hostage situation which had led to her predicament. She thought that it was best to ask Doctor Julius about it in person, she hoped that the victim was alright and that the knife wielding man was alright as well. She couldn't be happy with what he had done but she had seen just how desperate he was and she took pity on him.
It didn't take long for the jetpack to arrive however at first Sophie didn't notice it. It was only until she heard the sound of the engine did she realise that it was there. She saw it lower itself towards her and she didn't hesitate in strapping it to her back. She finally felt that this long night was soon to be over.
No sooner had the straps been safely buckled Sophie found herself lifting off into the air. She flew high above the ground and was even seeing a view that would have been impossible for her to see, even at her maximum size. However she didn't take any wonder in the views as she began to fly towards the warehouse. Although it had stopped raining there was some dampness in the air and the threat of rain was ever looming.
The warehouse was further than Sophie had expected and she couldn't believe how much she had travelled while in the sewer. Most of that would have probably been in the water but she did wonder how much she had walked on foot. To her it had been a few miles but to a normal person it was likely only a couple of hundred metres. One thing was for sure was the fact that she had definitely had a workout that night.
Minutes later she could finally see the warehouse a short distance away. She flew towards it at quite a fast speed and she was able to make her way inside through an open window. Almost immediately her goggles shifted to normal and she landed on the ground in a relatively open area. She could see Doctor Julius standing by the console and he was already typing away.
Quickly Sophie unstrapped the jetpack and no sooner had she done this Doctor Julius began to enlarge her. She could feel the sensation of her body stretching up and to her it was a welcome relief. Also the sound that her body made as it grew seemed inhuman. It was one that she would likely not forget. She could see the seemingly giant world around her shrinking and to her it was a relief. She did enjoy being small from time to time but she had been small for far too long.
It didn't take Sophie long before she was back up to her normal size. Thankfully for her she stopped growing at an inch shy of six foot. She immediately took off her goggles and looked over at Doctor Julius who was walking towards her. She couldn't see that her goggles had left rings around her eyes.
"I'm so glad to see that you're alright," said Doctor Julius as he reached where she was standing. His voice showed true concern and although she did appreciate it she wasn't in the best of moods.
"I'm not entirely alright Doc," replied Sophie. There was a small amount of anger in her voice but it was not directed at him. "I've been in the sewers for hours and God knows what I've been swimming in. Please just tell me that you have a shower that I can use." She stunk to high heaven but Doctor Julius was being polite enough not to point it out to her. It even made him feel a little sick.
"Sure, there's one through that door over there." He pointed to a door that was just to Sophie's right.
"Thank you and if you don't mind I need to use it as soon as possible."
"Go ahead." He understood her annoyance and her need to bathe. If he smelled like she did he would want a shower as soon as possible.
Sophie turned around and walked at a steady pace towards the door. She picked up her clothing that was nearby and then entered the room. At first it was dark but when she switched on the light she could see that it was larger than she had expected. She could see a very posh bathroom which looked to be very clean. She could clearly see a toilet, sink, shower and a bath. They were all pearly white and it didn't even look like it had been used. The truth was that it was used very often but Doctor Julius kept it very clean, it was one of his hobbies when he wasn't busy on his work.
However Sophie didn't take too much time admiring how clean the clothes were. Instead she took off the suit and any other clothing that she had and stepped into the shower. Before she switched it on she noticed that the shower head was quite low. This was because Doctor Julius was several inches shorter than her so she just adjusted the head before switching on the warm water.
To her the shower was the best thing that she had all day. She felt that all the grime was washing off of her body and going down the drain. Thankfully there was some shampoo and body wash in the shower. They were all very strong and designed to maximise cleanliness which was exactly what she wanted. She was just disappointed that there was no conditioner, her long red hair was normally more manageable after using conditioner but for now she could do without.
Sophie's shower lasted longer than normal but when she was done she calmly stepped out of the shower and dried herself off. She really hoped that Doctor Julius hadn't installed some kind of camera in order to spy on her. However she didn't think that he would do something like that. She didn't know everything about him so it was a possibility no matter how remote it was.
When she was done Sophie put her clothes back on before stepping out of the bathroom with her At-Lass costume being dragged on the floor. She didn't want to carry it since she didn't know what kind of filthiness it contained. She could see Doctor Julius sitting at his computer console once again and he was typing away. She didn't know it but he was busy on the software update that he had told her about earlier. He turned and looked towards her as she dragged the suit. He could still smell it but he had gotten more used to it now although he didn't like to.
"Ah I see that you're finished," said Doctor Julius. "I hope that you feel better now after your shower." He had stopped what he was doing and turned his chair so that he could properly see her.
"Yes but what exactly happened out there?" replied Sophie who was still in some confusion over what had happened.
"Well there was a bit of an oversight on my part I'm afraid. I accidentally made you go from one extreme to another too quickly. It caused you to pass out and through simple bad luck you fell down the sewers. In time you should be able to endure extreme changes in size but for now it is an area that we have to tread carefully in."
"O-Ok." She didn't know whether she should be annoyed by him for this oversight or be happy that he was able to bring her back. However she was glad to be back in the warehouse and at her normal size. Suddenly she remembered about the hostage situation, to her it was like she had remembered something of great importance. "What happened to that guy with the knife and the woman that he was threatening?" She had no idea what had happened to them since she had passed out before seeing the conclusion.
"They're fine." He knew that this was what she wanted to hear. "The victim was able to get to safety and the man in question was arrested by police. Both of them are relatively unharmed although the man did receive a cut lip during his arrest." He heard Sophie give out a huge sigh of relief.
"Oh thank God. I was afraid they were going to shoot him down." She always felt that the police in the city were a little too trigger happy. She was just glad to hear that he hadn't been gunned down so that now he could get the help that he needed and beat his addiction. "So everything seems to have worked out for the best?"
"Indeed it seems that way but for now I suggest that you go home and rest. You've had a very tiring night. I know that you might not want to walk back home so if you wish I can drive you back home."
"Wait you have a car?" This was the first that she was hearing of it and she had thought that he walked or used public transport.
"Of course I do. Everyone needs a car, now would you like me to drive you home or did you want to walk?"
"Can you drive me please? I'm really tired and after tonight I might not be walking anywhere for a while."
Doctor Julius could understand what Sophie meant. She was almost robbed and although she had been handling it quite well she still needed time to fully recover from the experience. He just wrapped up a couple of things that he was working on before he led her to his car that was just outside.
Sophie wasn't impressed by the car as it didn't look very clean. He could see that it hadn't been washed for a while and she could see some rust as well. Doctor Julius assured her that although the car didn't look the best it was mechanically sound and was probably safer than most cars that roll off the assembly line.
Carefully Sophie climbed into the car and she adjusted the seat in order to accommodate her long legs. She watched as Doctor Julius calmly stepped into the car and when he switched the engine on the car radio came on as well. The music that was playing was Waltz Of The Flowers which Sophie did recognise but she didn't know the name. She couldn't believe how late it was and she did feel tired.
No sooner was both of them strapped in Doctor Julius began the short ride to the Bale residence. It was true that he didn't drive very much but he always made sure that his car was in tip top condition. He had let its cleanliness slide but he felt that as long as he kept it up to speed mechanically he didn't mind. He had seen many cars on the road that he thought should be in the scrap heap.
After a couple of minutes the car pulled up just a block away from Sophie's home. They thought that it was wiser just in case her parents saw her. They would not be happy seeing their high school senior daughter getting out of a car that was being driven by a much older man. It would definitely give them the wrong idea and Sophie still didn't want to tell her parents that she was a superheroine. To them it would probably be worse than what they were originally thinking.
Sophie thanked Doctor Julius for the ride and he responded that he would be in touch. She watched as he drove off and she made the short walk to her front door. Unlike her last walk nothing bad happened as she stepped up to the door and carefully opened it. She tried to be as quiet as she could so that she didn't wake up her parents. The last thing she wanted was another lecture from her mother.
The house seemed eerie at night but Sophie did walk very quietly throughout the house. She did struggle to see where she was going and she wished that she still had her goggles with her. However she was very familiar with the layout so she was able to navigate her way through successfully.
Eventually Sophie found herself in her bedroom and she could just about see Mr Sprinkles on her bed. She liked to imagine that he had always been there waiting for her to return. She picked up the small teddy bear and gave him a hug. No matter how low she felt whenever she had him in her arms she felt better.
Sophie didn't bother getting changed into her nightclothes as she lay down on her bed and she fell asleep. It seemed that the start of her career had been a success, so much had happened to her since she had been given her suit. She had been both tiny and colossal in size and although she did have a long road to go before she could consider herself to be truly in the same league as many other superheroes.
For now Sophie Bale slept but there were many more obstacles and dangers for her to surpass along her way. She would be the biggest heroine the world had ever seen in a literal sense but it seemed that for now she was an ordinary girl who had been given a gift that could possibly change the world.