Johnathan is an urban explorer, slipping into places thought to be abandoned to get photos and videos for all his fans. Today however he decided to try and sneak into a high tech factory to see how some of the new amazing toys are made. There was little security outside especially around the rear of the building where it adjoined the old factory. This he knew after his last exploration, when he snuck into the old building, seeing all the old machines just shut down in situ, almost as if they were just no longer needed. Entering through a door in the shared wall of the two buildings, he emerged into the bright white lit and clean factory floor of the new building. John felt like he should be wearing a white outfit and paper booties in the almost sterile environment.
Sneaking up a nearby catwalk staircase and taking out a camera, John started to record. Below him appeared to be the end of one of the lines, as what looked like Barbie dolls in their boxes trundled out of a packing machine, to be bundled into shipping crates. Reading the label on the boxes told him that they were some of the newest walking talking dolls, so high tech no one could figure out how the company was able to make them for the price they sold them at. Not wanting to get spotted looking for cameras as he moved along the catwalk, he figured he was fine moving deeper into the factory. John passed over a machine; through its flapped opening he saw a brilliant flash of light and smelled ozone, before one of the dolls slid out to join the rest on a conveyor to be packaged.
Finding a spot to drop down, he seemed to have entered another section of the factory where they were making life-sized robot frames. This intrigued John, as he had not heard of this line of toys before. Snapping some more pics and video, he turned a corner before quickly slipping back, after spotting a worker inspecting a machine for faults. Peering around he saw the worker was wearing a clean suit, as he had thought with how clean this place was, but with a bright fluorescent vest on over the top. Muttering something about a safety sensor, he left towards the back office, perhaps to grab tools or pause production. John, using that moment to slip past, saw a large machine, also smelling of ozone with bright flashing lights inside, with the robot frames coming out. Wanting to get a look inside at the process he leaned over the conveyor, and as he did he felt a thump and everything went black.
Amazingly, his camera kept recording, landing on a flat surface with a good view of what was happening. A robotic arm descended from the ceiling, and having hit John on the back of his head, had picked him up and placed him on the conveyor with the robot frames. Bathed in a green beam which sharply turned red, another arm appeared with a blade, slicing his clothes off. Now naked, he trundled on through the next step, while below him the worker was busy fixing the malfunction, oblivious of him passing by. The frame behind him was scanned by a green beam, which blinked happily before allowing it through. The worker looked up to confirm the safety scanner was working again, though only after John had passed through, mere seconds before. The next section his unconscious body passed through was out of sight of the worker for now. It was where the delicate control circuitry was attached to the robot frame, attaching via pins it was pressed into John’s back, just below his neck.
The pain made him wake up, however he couldn't move; something was preventing signals from his brain from reaching his limbs or vocal cords. He tried desperately to get off the conveyor as what looked like two moulds closed around his legs, however they were not moulds but life sized doll legs being glued around the robot frames. The same thing happened to his arms, and then finally a plastic head slipped over his. The final piece, which he couldn't see but could definitely feel, was the torso pressing in around him like a corset, overly-tight in all the wrong places, being sonically welded around him. Amazingly John could see through the eyes of the doll head, once everything was fitted. He entered the next machine, this one a dark tunnel with sudden flashes ahead and the smell of ozone. With a flash, a tingle shot through his whole body everything seemingly shuddering around him.
Eventually it was over, and blinded temporarily by the flashes, he slipped through the flap at the end of the machine, joining the other dolls; no longer human-sized, but the size of a regular child’s doll. Each one got the same outfit, a one-piece swimsuit with its flowery pattern, a loose skirt tied around the waist, and a pair of sandals on the doll’s feet. The dolls trundled into the packaging machine, where they were joined by a large sun-hat, all strapped tightly inside the cardboard, and sent off to be packed with the rest. John was sure he was going to die of dehydration or starvation as he sat in his box, however he felt neither thirsty or hungry. Unbeknownst to him, the shrinking process - a highly kept secret of the company - has strange side effects on living cells, mostly rendering them inert but still functional, unable to die but with the appropriate stimulus still able to work.
After what seemed like months of movement, then stopping, John was starting to think differently. At first he was scared and hoped for someone to find him and free him. Those thoughts slipped as he started to think of himself more and more as the doll she was now. A desire to be bought and played with started to fill her head, as her box was roughly handled by the delivery driver to the store. It would be another two weeks before John's box ended up on a shelf. Behind another two in semi darkness, she could read all her new play features her new owner was sure to enjoy. It would not be long before John's box was picked up by a screaming girl, “Mummy I want this, Mummy I want it!” The girl’s mother, snatching the doll’s box and putting it on a random shelf before dragging the screaming child away from the toy section. Joanne was excited for a second, thinking she was about to have an owner, her mind slipping and mentally adjusting her name.
Eventually she was sold, to her excitement, as she was bagged up and taken from the store. At the child's home a charging cable was inserted into the control board concealed behind a flap on her back as a battery she never knew she had was charged. Finally ready for play, a switch was flicked on her back and she shuddered to life, moving and talking for the amusement of her new owner. Now and forever, Joanne was just a toy. A doll for a child's enjoyment. It would be a few months before John's camera would be found sitting on top of a machine. The worker took it home and discovered what it contained. Immediately he took it to a superior, who after reviewing the recording brushed it under the carpet, making sure the back door was now locked at all times. There would be no way after all this time to track where one singular doll ended up.