Saturday, December 19, 2020

Story: The Boy In The Silver Atom (With Bonus Materials and An Annoying Introduction)

 Introduction

Still from Judex. My inspiration for Jean's Halloween costume

I cheated with this one.

SizeRiot rules say you can't use recognizable characters and this story is nothing but characters someone else made whom I became intimately familiar with decades after their genesis. I let myself off the hook knowing there wasn't going to be any voting to influence and the fact that the characters are deeply linked with my experience in Size. A few of you knew of my interest in Ray and Jean, but I told myself that wasn't enough of a tell to tip my identity.

This is going to get wordy and nostalgic. Feel free to skip to the story at any time. I won't mind.

I usually don't do this sort of dissection of one of my SizeRiot stories. Most of the time I'll post them, if I remember, with nothing more than a few tags and an image from my archives. Sometimes I'll answer questions or respond directly to criticism, but usually not. 

But this final round of the contest is about deep fantasies and I'm feeling a bit thoughtful. And my current long form work doesn't involve Size so talking about this for a little while will help me keep my feet grounded in my main kink while branching out into others. This and the captions I've been writing lately in-between body swap gender flipped shenanigans.

The title is a riff on a classic Size story, "The Girl In The Golden Atom" written by Ray Cummings over a hundred years ago about a world that is an electron orbiting the nucleus of a gold atom on a ring. There's romance and adventure as a man shrinks down into that small new world and meets the love of his life.

That's nothing like my story, but I like giving nods to those who've gone before. And it let me work Atom and silver into the conversation without outright calling Ray by his superhero name.

Ray was not named after the author of that book; he was named in honor of Ray Palmer a prolific SF writer/editor of the pulp era. Mr. Palmer was very short and it was meant as a respectful joke.

But none of that explains my interest in the character.

Ray Palmer's Atom has the best origin story ever. I read it in a DC Blue Ribbon Digest reprint when it was new on the stands and I was 10 years old. A few months before my interest in Size took its first erotic turn.

He didn't become a super hero because of revenge or responsibility of powers. There's no dead family members or mentors looming in his psyche. Ray became what he became out of love. Both for the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, and for a group of students he'd become responsible for.

When most people get asked what the Atom's powers are they give the wrong answer. They'll tell you he shrinks. He does, but that's his special belt. Anyone could borrow it and get just as small. Ray Palmer's power is to not explode. 

It's been glossed over or written out of continuity in reboots and retcons, but the white dwarf star shrinking technology Ray created made everything it shrank blow up in a a matter of seconds. When Ray shrank for the first time he firmly believed that would happen to him too. That he'd die awake, six inches tall, in one of the most gruesome ways I can imagine.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Before we get to that point we're given the familiar origin story beats. We're introduced to a brilliant young scientist and his even smarter girlfriend. Jean in those early days was light years from Lois Lane. At least as Lois was portrayed at the time. She graduated law school early and started her own law practice in her mid-twenties. Jean wasn't looking to get married like Lois; she wanted a career. Wanted to prove she was as smart and talented as anyone. Ray we learn had proposed to her dozens of times only to be told Jean wouldn't accept until she'd proven herself. There's a lot about early Atom comics that hasn't aged well, but for the time Jean was ahead of the curve. I'm probably forgiving behavior I wouldn't find acceptable in other men in other eras.

We're shown the new tech working. We see a number of household items go boom. There's a flashback to a meteor being discovered by Ray and him lugging a chunk of white dwarf star back to the lab. I have to think the star wanted to be carried since it would've weighed a bajillion tons.

This is how I learned the difference between the two. And, yes,
Jean's reference to Ray's "stalactite" was throwing shade on him
not being suited to be on top.

He plans on making another proposal to Jean while doing a nature tour in a local cave system with a local youth group. There's a rockslide. They're trapped. No one in the outside world knows where they are and the group doesn't have provisions.

All Ray has is a flashlight, his magic shrinking lens, and an engagement ring. He goes off a ways into the caves until he finds a very small hole in the ceiling. He's smart and brave. He doesn't think twice about sacrificing himself once he comes up with a plan he thinks will work. 

The image of a shrunken Ray using his engagement ring to expand the hole is one that's burned into my memory. It didn't register to my 10 year old mind, but he was using the symbol of his love to give his lover and some kids a chance. He didn't need a gun or a beatarang; Ray used love. And that sounds corny as fuck, but I don't care.

Best origin story ever.

And when he was done, Ray used
his love to find his way back.


That's when we discover Ray's power. When he accidentally walks back through the shrink beam and becomes normal again. There's a couple panels of filler where we think it's cave water, but we find out later it's all Ray.

In the next story we find out how Ray decides to become the Atom. He wants to help people, but also give Jean an anonymous hand with her legal career. It's one of the parts of the series that doesn't age well, but again it's a demonstration that what Ray is doing he's doing out of love. Fucked up early 60s gender stereotyped love, but that's what they had to work with back then.

Part of the reason I chose to set the story in 1965 was to avoid some of the damage that happened to Jean's character as the decade went on. Needless to say I wasn't happy when I found out the way things went in Identity Crisis. While it made sense with the editorial choices foisted on the character over the decades I thought it was a disservice to the character I'd been introduced to when I was 10.


Some of the comments for this story asked about how much I stole from the comics themselves. I stole a lot. Ray getting tied to a hand grenade. That happened. Ray being used as a gun batter. Yep. I've been asked for some screen caps of some of this stuff so here you are.

Bondage was front and center in these comics.
I didn't have to add much.

You know when you see a really cool cover,
but the story inside doesn't match? That's not the case here.

This triggers so many of my kinks.

This splash page (captioned by me) takes some liberties with the story,
but is amazing. Jean looks at Ray that way several times through the
run of the series, but this was my favorite.

The biggest liberties I took was in Jean figuring things out (she should have), Ray being secretly submissive (he sure as heck reads that way), Jean being a top (she was),  and Ray thinking Enricetta's gay (I have no idea how good Ray's gaydar is). Most of the rest was there already

A few of you have been kind enough to make Watchmen references to my story. Thank you. I wasn't consciously thinking of that piece when I wrote "Silver Atom", but I can see it. Personally I think I was more inspired by Moore's "Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?" A nostalgic, poignant, a much better farewell to the Silver Age.

Moving past my childhood love of the character and the deep dive I was able to make into his adventures thanks to Ebay and internet archives there's another reason why this had to be my My Blue Heaven story.

When I was first looking for Size content on the internet I found some material that was close, but not exactly what I was looking for. The first story I came across that zeroed in on my fantasies was "The Peeping Tom Thumb" by Dreamtales. It involves the Atom being reduced to a Toy by a strong-willed young woman. It has some problematic elements (The Atom is peeping on a stranger, she's 17) that I'm uncomfortable about today. 

But the beautiful things about fantasies is you can make them comfortable. I've done it twice with that story. Not copying it, but using some of the same themes. The first time in my novella "Powerless" (originally released as "Superhero Diminished") where the young woman is a grad student who happens to be at the right place at the wrong time. It's one of my darker stories.

The other is this which I feel is a much more healthy relationship. And the sunset I want Ray to get carried off into. 

Enough introductions, here's the story you've been waiting for.


Another screen cap from Judex. She looks a bit
too sinister for Jean, but her face could've been drawn by Gil Kane.

The Boy In The Silver Atom

copyright 2020 Taedis

CW:Shrink, domination, mild comic book violence, sexy, humiliation, true love

The scent of fresh sweat and stale powder was almost strong enough to keep Ray from waking. If the net he dangled in had been secured to the criminal's leg as well as her waist he might have remained unconscious until she was ready to deal with him, but her quick confident stride tossed Ray from one side of her hip to the other. 

The streetlamps and moonlight that streamed through the windows they passed did nothing to help identify his captor. Almost every inch of her was covered in skin hugging velvet. From neck to gloves; waist to ballet shoes. Her hair and the bits of her face not covered by the oversized domino mask were exposed, but Ray was too close to see anything above the shoulder.

The slim dagger was his only landmark. The naked blade gleamed whenever it passed through the light. Longer than Ray. Sheathed by a strap of black leather wrapped around her thigh leaving most of its sharpness exposed.

The controls on Ray's belt were still dead; the ones in his gloves had power, but weren't responding. He tried ripping the net, but it was stronger than his tiny muscles. The mesh made for easy climbing, but the open top was tied in a hard knot to the criminal's waistband. He should've been able to swing the net into the blade, but his captor's movements were too unpredictable.

The slide to the bottom of the stocking took less than a second; the sting of being defeated by a piece of hosiery lasted much longer.

The criminal made her way silently down the dark corridors until they'd reached the smallest of the five courtrooms. She skipped the obviously locked main entrance and slid through the clerk's door around the far corner.

The lights were out; the windows shuttered. Ray lost track of where they were, but his captor navigated the darkness like it was her shadow. 

The criminal's hips stopped swaying. Gloved fingers longer than his torso cupped Ray's body from below while her other hand undid the knot above. Fight or flight chemicals exploded into his veins as the net went slack. Ray might as well have been asleep for all the good they did him.

Ray was tossed on the bench as casually as a pair of used panties. As he struggled to make it to to open end of the fishnet the criminal found the switch to Judge Fortune's blind justice lamp. 

The lampshade was thick and narrow, letting only a small island of light out onto the judge's desk. 

Female laughter from outside that light reminded Ray how pathetic he must look struggling to escape such a sheer prison.

Ray's eyes had adjusted to the glare by the time he made it to fresh air. Ray grabbed hold of Lady Justice's metal robe and pulled himself all the way out. He steadied himself against the statue's strength until he found his footing. Lady Justice's feet stood on the same table he did. Stretching to his full height the top of his head still didn't reach her crotch. Her scales hung high above him. He was small enough to fit in them.

“There's nothing valuable here. Nothing to steal,” Ray said. The criminal wasn't in the light, but he knew she was close. “What do you want?”

“We need to talk.”

Ray recognized the voice.

“Jean?”

“You want to explain what happened back there?” The woman leaned into the light until her face Rushmored over him. Ray only needed to see her eyes to know he was right.

“Why are you dressed like that?”

“Rehearsing a surprise for next week's Halloween party.” Jean worked one of her gloves off and tossed it to Ray's left. “I could ask you the same question, but you haven't answered my first. What happened back there?”

“It was dark. I didn't recognize you. I thought …”

“I know what you thought.” The other glove landed to Ray's right. “What I want to know is how a super hero got his butt handed to him by a bookworm in a Halloween costume.”

“My size controls fritzted out. I'm just lucky it was you and not Dr. Li …”

Jean didn't need her whole hand to pin Ray to the table; one finger was enough. She worked his belt off with her other hand while he impotently thrashed under her. When she was done she let the tip of her finger slide down his body till it rested on his crotch.

“Anything you want to admit?” Jean asked. “It'll be less embarrassing if you fess up now.”

Ray turned his head. Jean shrugged and examined the small belt.

“There. I've fixed you.” Jean tossed the belt on his chest and took her finger away. “You can grow or shrink. Be heavy or light. Strong or weak. Run away or talk. What'll it be?”

“You know?” Familiar power rippled through Ray's body.

“You saw through my mask in a heartbeat. Do you honestly think I wouldn't see through yours? I've known since you helped me win my first case. In this very courtroom. I've spent the last three years thinking that was your big secret. Now I know better.”

“I'm sorry.” Ray pulled his mask off before rising to his feet. “I didn't want to keep any of this from you, but … things got complicated. And weird. Fast.”

“I've read about men like you, Ray. I never thought I'd meet one.”

“You've met a lot more superheroes than me.”

“I'm not talking about them,” Jean said. “Unless they're secretly submissive too.”

“I'm not …”

“This isn't a lecture hall; I'm not one of your grad students. It's cute you think you can argue with me, but your balls are in my court.”

“Why would you even think something like that?” Ray asked.

“Remember the time you 'lost your memory' and joined a flea circus? Or when that crook made you the bondage battery of his ray gun? Or the spy who tied you spread eagle to a hand grenade?”

“When you put it like that it sounds bad, but those sorts of things happen to superheroes. A lot.”

“Do the others get tied up as much as you?”

“No, but …”

“Have any of their super suits beaten the snot out of them?”

“That only happened once.”

“In the last six months how many times have you been rendered 'powerless'?”

Ray thought about it a minute before admitting “Five”.

“Does that include tonight?” Jean asked.

“Ok, six, but that doesn't prove anything.”

“It proves everything.”

“It was you!”

“You didn't know that. As far as you were concerned I was some hot piece of anonymous ass doing crime. You leaped into my clutches.”

“It's more nuanced than that.”

“Did it turn you on getting carted around in my dirty nylon?”

“No.”

“So you didn't get hard until your big bad girlfriend pinned you with one finger? And don't even think about lying; I know what I felt between your legs. Just like I felt it go away the second I gave you your power back.”

“Are you trying to humiliate me? Getting petty revenge cause I didn't tell you?”

“I'm not the one trying to humiliate you, Ray.”

“What's that supposed to mean?”

“I've got my own secrets.” Jean took her mask off and lay it behind Ray.

“Am I your beard?”

“What?”

“I've proposed a gajillion times and you always put me off with the same lame excuse.”

“So putting my career first makes me a lesbian?” Jean slipped the ballet shoes off under the table. They ended up beside the gloves.

“If you are just say so. I'll set you up with Enrichetta.”

“It's 1964, Ray. Women are allowed to have careers. Gay or straight.” Jean put the dagger on top of the mask.

“But you're never … frisky.”

“Wet, Ray. The word you're looking for is wet.” Jean's hands were busy under the table.

“Things have been drier than the Sahara down there a damn long time, Jean.”

“You haven't exactly been a stalactite yourself.” 

“Are you stripping?” Ray asked.

“Yep.” Jean piled her leggings in a hill to Ray's left.

“Why?”

“Cause being gay isn't the secret I was talking about.” Jean lifted her butt from the judge's chair, hooked her thumbs in the waistband of her underwear, and yanked them down in one swift motion. “When you were getting your little chubby my Sahara turned into a Slip 'n Slide.”

The black panties hit Ray with a wet thump that pushed him off his feet. The soaked material clung to him. If Jean hadn't given him back his strength the weight of her arousal would've pinned him down as hard as her finger. 

“Do the math Ray. I'm not getting off on the bottom; you're not happy on top. We both know what we have to do to make this work.”

“That's not how any of this …”

“I'm giving you one minute to crawl out from under my panties. You'd better be naked Ray.”

“Is that an order?”

“You bet your sweet ass.”

Ray didn't hesitate. They were both naked when he crawled into the light.

“I can't take my eyes off you when you're tiny. It's even better when you're naked.” Jean's gaze burned through him like x-rays. “Stand up. Hands at your sides. I want to see everything.”

Ray obeyed.

“Looks like you enjoy getting orders as much as I do giving them.” Jean's fingers glistened when she pulled them out from under the table. “Tell me, Ray, are you strong or weak right now?”

“Weak.” 

“I didn't order you to do that.”

“It … it just seemed like what I should do.” Ray couldn't look Jean in the eye.

“Good boy.” 

The words made Ray feel better than he wanted to admit.

“I want to marry you Ray. On my terms. Like I was the husband you thought you had to be. Think you can live with that?”

“Will I still be a scientist?”

“It's 1964; men can have careers.” Jean smiled down at her tiny man.

“What about being a superhero?”

“I'll think about it.” Jean ran a fingertip down Ray's back and let it rest on his bottom. 

“That's not fair.”

“I won't be most of the time,” Jean leaned down and kissed Ray's chest. “But I'll always love you.”

“What do you want me to do?” 

“I want your belt.”

“Will I ever get it back?”

“Probably not.”

“You could do anything to me,” Ray said.

“I could,” Jean admitted.

Ray walked to the edge of the light, knelt on both knees, lifted the belt up with trembling hands, and said “I do.”

“This is the size you're most comfortable? Six inches?” Jean wrapped the gold belt around her ring finger and snapped it shut.

“Yes.”

“I don't like that. I can't put my finger on why, but I don't. Maybe it's cause that was your penis size back in the day.” Jean studied the controls on her new ring. “Whatever. I'll just see how I like honeymooning with a 2” husband. I can always make you smaller when I get back.”

Jean hit a button and grabbed her panties while Ray shot down to his new size.

“Where are we going?” Ray asked.

I'm going to find the best tropical paradise I can afford.” Jean pulled the panties halfway up her legs. “You're going to a very different type of paradise.” 

“You can't be serious.”

“At least one of us will work on their tan.”

“But what about …”

It was Jean's first time wearing a man. She did her best to make sure Ray was centered in her gusset, but she had to make several adjustments until she felt comfortable.

“There's one thing I don't understand,” Jean said, pulling up her leggings.

Jean translated the buzzing against her clit as “What?”

“Since when is Enrichetta gay?”

-----

Judex again. This time giving us some serious Size vibes.


Vigilante In Her Panty 

an incomplete poetic interpretation

of the above story.


I


The lady robber had beaten Ray of that there was no question.

The only variable in play was her to-the-vest intentions.


He'd pegged her for a devil at the courthouse when he spied her.

Climbing from an upper level nimble as a midnight spider.

The mask that dominoed her face exposed her brow and lip.

Black velvet flowed from toe to tabard sheathing her like fresh grown skin.

The dagger stabbed a scabbard through the fabric at her hip.

She set a very fearsome pace; her swagger advertised her sin.


The plan he made defied convention, going high then low then fast.

Thanks to his incredible invention, six inches tall with linebacker mass.

She'd barely crossed the window sill when Ray engaged her ankle.

He grabbed her with a wrestler's skill from obscure and shallow angles.


Lady Goliath fell to David and into darkness tumbled.

On the hallway floor she waited, down for now, but never humbled.

The night erased her from Ray's sight; she was tranquil as a ghost.

At his diminished height Ray had to move in close.

Their outfits were equally as tight there was just less of him to fill it.

Maybe if his hadn't been so bright he wouldn't have gone to fire from skillet.


A giant hand speared from the gloom bulldozed the superhero.

Palm and digits entombed him easy as a clip-winged sparrow.

Fingers small as grains of rice flipped a hidden switch.

But she gripped Ray like a vise and the technology had glitched.

Ray was small as a toy yet had the strength of giants.

When the button failed the boy he became weak and small and pliant.

Ray thrashed his little body terror-testing his defiance

Feeling less than godly as the strength drained from his science.


The burglar pulled Ray to her chest as he writhed and wriggled.

His face into the blackness pressed; he felt the soft wall giggle.

He tried to object being kept abreast if only just a little.

But the flesh came erect and choked him on her nipple.





II


Ray woke inside a stocking dangling from her waist.

She must have started walking; he swayed with every pace.

He tried to see his captor, but breasts eclipsed her face.

He was defenseless as a martyr and equally disgraced.

Whispering past her garter his thoughts were far from chaste.


She wore him like a trophy in a net between her thighs.

The powerful made lowly now her defeated prize.

He inhaled perfume and sweat and powder; fought scale and silk and size.

His struggles made her prouder with his every frustrated cry.

She wished he could scream louder, but that would be unwise.


When his prison wouldn't rip Ray tried to climb the mesh,

But failed to get a grip, battered as he was by her casual caress.

He looked up at her bounty between two towers of flesh.

Her step was slick and jaunty despite her vast largesse.

The little vigilante could find no quick egress.


Ballet boots made soft footfalls as she left the parapet.

The victor skulked the hall silent as a silhouette.

Slunk into the courtroom brandishing her marionette,

Alexandered the silken knot with her almost-bayonet,

And tossed him sock and all under Lady Justice's statuette.




1 comment:

  1. The beautiful thing about fantasies is you can make them comfortable.

    Amen. We all might cite similar mainstream size content in our personal origin stories, but each individual "repurposing" is unique. And indeed beautiful.

    I'm particularly touched by your identification of Ray's selfless love as his superpower and the implications for American postwar notions of masculinity. Quite the telling contrast with Hank Pym.

    As always, a delightful read. Jean's dialogue has clearly been recited many times over the years.

    ReplyDelete

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