Teuthology II

Teuthology I
Teuthology III

Script for today:

Page 4

Edith and Shackleford are walking across what looks like an abandoned factory floor. Disused machinery is strewn about. We se them from behind. The scene is poorly lit.

EDITH: I hope that you could be a little bit more exact than you were on the phone a few days ago.

SHACKLEFORD: The phone would not have been appropriate.

Edith and Shackleford are standing in front of an elevator shaft. An old-style industrial freight elevator has just arrived, and a MARINE (presumably the elevator operator) is saluting.


EDITH: Inappropriate, Admiral? For security reasons?

SHACKLEFORD: No, not security reasons.

The gate on the elevator is being closed shut.


CAPTION (Shackleford speaking): It is rather, Professor Sterling, that some information is better taken in by being seen.

Page 5

Edith and Shackleford are seen in profile inside the elevator.

SFX: whrrr

EDITH: And so what is it that I am being taken to see?

The soldier who is operating the elevator is opening the gate on another floor. Shackleford and Edith are standing side-by-side with Shackleford making a gesture indicating “look this way.”

SHACKLEFORD: Something that is decidedly in your area of expertise, Professor Sterling.

A long view of another floor of the factory. To the left are a number of curtained-off areas. To the right is a large, mad-scientists lab bench full of chemistry equipment, electronic equipment, and various medical-looking things, including beds and gurneys. In the middle, wearing a white lab-coat, is DR. EDWARD CHEN.

CAPTION (Shackleford speaking): But something which I fear you might find a little disturbing…

Page 6

Edith and Chen are shaking hands in the middle of the floor, while Shackleford looks on.

CHEN: Professor Sterling? I am Dr. Chen. I’m with DOD bioresearch…

EDITH: I didn’t know you military types had any interest in octopuses…

Chen is standing by one of the curtains his hand on it, about to draw it aside. He is looking back at us over his shoulder.

CHEN: There is no active DOD project at this time, but we discovered this

A “split panel” view. To the left hand of the panel is the inside of some sort of large aquarium. Inside the aquarium floats an octopus with yellow rings against a dark background skin-color. The panel is divided by the aquarium’s glass wall. On the other side of the panel is Edith, in profile, looking into the aquarium at the Octopus.

EDITH: It’s a Thaumoctopus mimicus. A most interesting species to be sure, but hardly something that would seem to require DOD attention..

A view inside the tank. The octopus has swiftly retreated, leaving a trail of bubbles behind it.

CAPTION (Upper left, Edith speaking): A very clever invertebrate, good at camouflage and capable of mimicking many other species. Is that perhaps…

CAPTION (lower right, Chen speaking): No. Take a look at this second tank over here…

View inside another tank. This tank contains something octopus-like, resembling the species seen in the previous panels, but somehow deformed. It’s body seems misshapen, and four of its arms are longer than normal.

CAPTION (Edith speaking): Ugh…a genetically engineered specimen? Is that what’s been going on here?

Chen and Shackleford are standing next to each other. Both are wearing grim expressions.

SHACKLEFORD: Better show her the tank at the far end, Dr. Chen.

The mimic octopus is a real species, which I was delighted to learn was given the name Thaumoctopus mimimus after I had used the same Greek root to come up with my peculiar preferences.

It’s a very pretty critter, IMHO.

And smart too.  It’s an invertebrate full of tricks.