Edith Sterling’s Transformation Begins

KristinF has worked up a doozy of a bespoke art set-piece from a bit of comics script I was once working on, coming up with a gritty, scary, sexy, dieselpunk environment in which something very mad science is taking place.

Naked crucified Edith Sterling begins a mad science transformation

(Click on the image for full size. Creative Commons License
Edith Sterling’s Transformation Begins by KristinF and commissioned by Dr. Faustus of EroticMadScience.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.)

The script is Teuthology and the basic story is that Edith Sterling an assistant professor of inveterate biology at Gnosis College, summoned by the government to help clean up after a mad-science experiment disrupted by the authorities, has agreed to undergo a version of the experiment in hopes of being able to reverse its effects on the mad scientist’s previous victims.  She’s naked because she needs to soak up a lot of special radiation that will effect her transformation from woman to octopus (note the receiving tank of fluid beneath her).  And she’s crucified because…well, that’s the way the mad scientist did his other victims, and you don’t want to tamper with mad science procedures more than you have to!

Edith is being watched here by a naval officer and his chief scientist, neither of whom appears to have had the courage to show up naked for the proceedings.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, Edith in the script takes a pretty dim view of being on display here.


View up Edith, ¾ behind, upper half. We can see her head slumped down.

Caption (1): Great Cthulhu, this hurts.

Caption (2): Small wonder crucifixion is associated with matrydom.


View of Edith’s bare midsection. Two “ray-gun” like objects are in the frame, pointing at her. (SFX: WHRRR)

Caption (3): It wasn’t even obvious that this part of the ordeal was necessary. It might just have been sadism on Dr. Sin’s part. But I don’t want to deviate unnecessarily from…


View of Shackleford and Chen. They are both wearing radiation suits and dark goggles.

Caption (4):  Aw, crap.

Shackleford (5):  Everything all right, Professor Sterling?


Close-up on Edith’s face.  She is showing an expression of grim determination.

Caption (6):  He isn’t here out of scientific interest. Or out of compassion for me.

Caption (7):  He likes seeing me like this.

Caption (8):  Asshole.

We can but sympathize.  (It should be noted, though, that Edith is actually looking forward to becoming an octopus, even if no one else in the story knows this.)  Though perhaps if Edith had read this rather remarkable blog entry and picked up the right fetish, she might have had a different hedonic take on the mad-science proceedings…


On making your own II: writing

How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?

–E.M. Forster

If you are reading this, then you can write.

Longer form:  since you are reading this, you are obviously literate (and allow me to commend you on your excellent taste in reading material ) and since you are reading this blog, most likely you have a lively and unusual erotic imagination.  Congratulations, dear reader!  Now allow me to urge you to start writing for yourself, if you do not already do so.

You’ll be glad that you do.

(Found at the blog Automatic Writing, which also has some cool pulp covers.)

In my own experience trying to write down some of the scenes in my heads was an intense experience.  When it goes well, you feel as if you are living inside the scene, with all that that entails.  So the very act of writing can be a fine source of erotic satisfaction in and of itself, even if you’re just writing for the drawer.  (I suppose I need not mention that it also cheap and sanitary.)

But beyond this, there’s a profound intellectual advantage to trying to write down what’s in your head, in line with Forster’s remark above.   Writing is challenging even when it is fun, and it demands energy and attention.  However much time and energy you have, you simply can’t write down everything:  you will have to make choices.   As such, trying to write down the scenes in your head forces you to try to think through what matters to you and why:  why these characters, and why these particular details?  Why does Nanetta Rector have reddish-brown hair?  Why does the Club Cuisine have naked girls swimming in tanks? Why all these damn octopuses?  Well, I think there are reasons for all of these things, but I would never have discovered them if I hadn’t started to write.  There are probably reasons, buried in my personal history and genetic makeup, for every detail-choice I make in my own writing, and there will be in yours as well.  Writing thus becomes an act of remembering things about your life you didn’t realize you had forgotten, and learning things about yourself that you didn’t know before.  It is a great technology of self-discovery.   Use it!

Oh, and by the way, if you’re lucky (and I was lucky) you’ll discover kinks you didn’t know you had before, which is great, because these too can be exploited for pleasure.  A little virtuous circle:  the pursuit of pleasure generates knowledge that generates more pleasure that encourages the pursuit of more knowledge, and so on, all the way to paradise perhaps (though that’s highly speculative and will be the subject of its own post).

It might be tricky getting started but don’t be discouraged.  Susie Bright‘s How to Write a Dirty Story is good for greasing the mental gears, so I do recommend your reading it.  Whether you might want to follow my lead in writing not prose but parascripts (for imagined comic books or movies) is entirely up to you.  It reflects my own idiosyncratic inclinations:  much of the formation of my own erotic consciousness was by visual media like pulp and paperback covers, comic books, and of course movies, so it feels natural to write in modes closely tied to an implied visual experience.   (Also, when writing in ways tied to an implied visual experience it becomes much easier to stick to the rule of “show, don’t tell.”)  If you’re like me in that respect and want a helpful tool, I recommend Celtx, which is free software which neatly and automatically formats things like comic book scripts and screenplays (and even radio scripts, in case your erotic consciousness involves a lot of implied aural experience).

Do what works for you, and good luck on your literary mission!

Teuthology XIII

Script for today:

Page 38

View of Edith/Octopus, outside the tank which was dropped in the estuary. The tank is now deeper in the silt and partly covered with barnacles.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I don’t have much strength left…just enough to make a final entry of data of my impressions.

View of Edith/Octopus drifting in the sea. Her tentacles are trailing behind her.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): No octopus lives very long, especially mated females. I knew that going in.

Another view of Edith/Octopus drifting. In some part of the panel, a small speck of something approaching should be visible.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I read Charlotte’s Web when I was a little girl. I cried and cried when Charlotte had baby spiders and then died.

Another view of the Edith/Octopus, still drifting. The “speck” in the previous now looks vaguely like a human being with long hair swimming through the water.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): But right now I don’t feel sad at all. Instead, I feel blessed

Page 39

Still another view of Edith/Octopus drifting. A pair of human-looking hands are reaching into the panel.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I am becoming one with my beloved ocean and…

LI ANWEI, naked, rather mermaid-like, has gathered Edith/Octopus in her arms and is holding her.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): How can this be…you can’t be…human.

Close up of the Edith/Octopus being held up against Anwei’s breast.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Even if you insist on nourishing me using a human modality.

View of Anwei seen from above. She is swimming along the bottom of the estuary out further (indicated by darkening of the panel in the direction she is swimming).

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Perhaps I’m not about to die after all, but where is this creature taking me.

Page 40

View of Anwei, holding the Edith/Octopus forward, while kicking with her legs (indicate with silt being kicked up). She has reached a point where some sort of deep trench occurs in the seafloor. It is dark beneath.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Into the depths, I see.

Same panel as before, except that all we see of Anwei are her bare feet sticking up out of the trench.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Wherever it is, I’m sure it will be adventure.

CAPTION: End of “Chapter 1: Teuthology.”


And so, thanks Anwei and whoever she’s now working for, Edith’s story is not quite as sad as Charlotte’s Web after all.

That would surely seem to call for an erotic merfolk image in celebration.

Provenance unknown, beyond the fact that it (like so many things here) appeared at Janitor of Lunacy.

Teuthology XII

Script for today:

Page 34

A long view of a helicopter hovering low over an estuarine bay somewhere in Southeast Asia. Suspended below by a cable is a tank.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I am getting something more amazing…

The tank dropping into the bay from the helicopter, making waves as it breaks the surface.

SFX: Splash!

CAPTION (Edith thinking): …than most people could possibly imagine.

A view of the tank resting on the bottom of the bay. Various marine plant and animal life about. And the Edith/Octopus is just beginning to emerge from the top of the tank.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): How many scientists get to actually be what they study?

Page 35

Close up view of the tank which was dumped in the estuary. A panel in the side of it has been flipped open and two of Edith’s octopus arms are pushing buttons.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): First to release the data.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): A deal’s a deal, after all.

A view of Edith/Octopus jetting away from the tank.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): And then…real freedom at last.

View of the Edith/Octopus making her way along an estuary bottom.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): It feels more wonderful to be a sea creature than even I dared imagine.

View of Edith/Octopus seizing a crab.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Hunting and eating your own food is more delicious than any meal I’ve ver eaten.

Edith/Octopus burrowing into the bottom of the estuary. A small shark of some kind is visible in the background.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): It’s not all fun, of course. There are predators to avoid. Fortunately I’m well equipped to evade them.

A human, reaching for Edith/Octopus. It’s splay-fingered.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): But I can deal with some predators. I have a nice sharp beak and neuortoxic venom.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Make a meal of something else, human.

Page 36

View of Edith/Octopus swallowing a fish.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Amazing how much satisfaction you can get our of an existence of feeding, fighting, fleeing, and…

View with Edith/Octopus in the foreground and another T. mimicus in the background.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): …oh yes. That other thing.

The two octopuses, near the estuary bottom.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I have been feeling somewhat heavy of late…and I was wondering if I was producing eggs.

The two octopuses have drawn together and are beginning to entangle tentacles with one another.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I feel myself being drawn…I have no will at all.

The same two octopuses, now closely entangled.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Though the fleeting thought does occur that being turned into an octopus probably voids the warranty on the universal vaccinative…

A largely dark panel, showing an octopus arm in the dark with little bright dots moving down it.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Octopus sex makes what mammals do look absolutely superficial.

Page 37

Closeup view of the previous panel

CAPTION (Edith thinking): The male inserts his arm right into the female’s mantle cavity and sends sperm packets down it…imagine penetration that reaches right into your vital organs.

Close up on the eyes of Edith/Octopus.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): The experience is absolutely mind-blowing for me.

View of the Edith/Octopus digging in the silt.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I have all the instincts of a female T. mimicus. I make a burrow and deposit my eggs.

View of an interior dark cavity. Lots of little baubles, like fish eggs, can be seen inside it.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I don’t hunt any more, but guard the burrow. I make a gentle current so that my babies get oxygen.

A group of tiny octopuses floating up in front of Edith/Octopus’s eyes.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): And in the end, I see the miracle of life before my own eyes.

Edith/Octopus’s P.O.V. She sees a trail of little baby octopuses swimming upward.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I find myself wondering if they’ll take away anything human from me. I sort of doubt it.

Edith isn’t kidding. Octopus sex is a lot hotter than most people know.

Science Daily has a fine article on the subject here.

Teuthology XI

Script for today:

Page 31

View of a girl (Edith as a child) swimming in the ocean. Her head and part of her bare shoulders are visible above the water.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to plunge into the ocean.

View of a stretch of beach. A girl’s one-piece bathing suit lies discarded on it just where the waves are lapping on the shore.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I wanted it so much I engaged in some behavior condemned as inappropriate.

View of Edith, perhaps a little younger looking than she was as a professor, in a white lab smock, wearing a face shield and surgical gloves. An octopus of some kind, partially dissected, sits in a tray in front of her on a lab bench.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Perhaps I plunged into the study of the world’s smartest invertebrates as a substitute for what I could not do.

View of Shackleford and Chen. Chen sitting at the terminal typing. Shackleford is staring into Edith/Octopus’s tank.

CAPTION (Machine talk): We are ready to begin the process on you now, Professor Sterling.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): These jokers would never understand what a real commitment like that feels like.

View of Edith/Octopus in her tank, looking back at us, almost glowering. We see a print-out screen in part of the panel, showing us what she is writing. It reads simply, “NO.”

Close up on Shackleford’s face.


CAPTION (Machine talk): I told you I have one more condition, Admiral.

Page 32

Extreme close-up on the Edith/Octopus’s eyes.

CAPTION (Machine talk): I wish to remain in my current form, and be placed in its natural habitat…

Edith/Octopus’s P.O.V. Shackleford, Chen, and a couple of techs looking into the tank, with appalled expressions. A faint reflection of the Edith/Octopus can be seen in the glass of the tank.

CAPTION (Machine talk): …together with adequate support for recording my experiences there.

(Note: this panel should take up about 2/3 of the page.)

From high above view of the factory floor. It has changed a good deal since first seen: it is cleaner, there is more equipment there. There are at least three hospital-style beds, and a conference table. Officers and white-coated lab personnel are sitting around the conference table, obviously in the middle of a rather contentious meeting.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Well, bet they sure didn’t see that coming.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): They’ll pretend to debate and to argue and to resist and think deep thoughts about the “ethics” of the situation.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): But in the end I’ll bet they couldn’t be more pleased.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I mean, how often is it that an inconvenient witness to your questionable deeds volunteers to be disposed of?

Page 33

A large, now partly sealed tank with some oxygenation/filtration equipment on top is being moved on a forklift, which is backing into a freight elevator in the lab, the same elevator which we saw on Page 4 of this script.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): After much back and forth and bickering about protocols, the boys consent to my one-way trip.

View inside an academic office. A messy one and cheap one – florescent lighting above, books and papers strewn everywhere. We see PROESSOR REBECCA WAITE in profile, looking down at her desktop computer with an astonished expression.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Unknown to them, I do one last hack and send some…useful data to someone who I think might be able to use it.

Outside view. An unmarked truck, pulling away from the factory building. A black government sedan is just behind it.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Becky Waite isn’t a friend, exactly. But she has the intellect to make sense of the data and the will to make interesting trouble with it.

Outside view. A C17 cargo aircraft is seen in long view, with the truck seen in the previous panel next to it.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I send no good-byes to anyone. No one should mourn me…

Edith’s desire to plunge into the sea and stay there brings to mind two delicious images:


I found these at Janitor of Lunacy.  What research on their provenance I’ve had time to do seems to suggest that they’re AIDS-awareness related and that the artist is named James Jean.

FWIW I find these to be some of the most appealing promotions of condom use I’ve ever seen.

Teuthology X

Script for today:

Page 28

View of TECHNICIAN #1 and TECHNICIAN #2, sitting side-by-side at two computer terminals (we see them over the screens, so we can see their faces. TECHNICIAN #1 s typing frantically, while TECHNICIAN #2 is staring at his screen in disbelief.

TECHNICIAN #1: Shit! Someone’s triggered an encryption virus.

View of Shackleford, who’s turned around, with an enraged expression on his face. Chen is behind him, cradling his shocked hand. Still further in the background, Edith/Octopus’s tank.


CAPTION (Technician #1 speaking): It means we can’t get at any of the data, sir.

Edith/Octopus’s P.O.V. Shackleford has his finger jammed up against the glass, with an enraged expression on his face.

SHACKLEFORD: Type this in, Chen…

CAPTION (Machine talk): I can have you made into sushi, Sterling!

View inside the tank. Edith/Octopus has transformed herself (a native ability of Thaumoctopus mimicus) into the form of a lionfish.

CAPTION (Machine talk): Do you want to have only encrypted gobblydegook to show your superiors for data, Admiral?

Another view inside the tank. Edith/Octopus has transformed herself again, this tme into a sea snake.

CAPTION (Machine talk): I think in return for that data, you can come up with the budget to turn those poor girls back.

Edith/Octopus’s P.O.V. Shackleford is looking back into the tank with a shocked, disbelieving expression. Chen has raised an eyebrow.

CAPTION (Machine talk): That’s one of my conditions for getting your data back. Once it’s satisfied, I shall have another. Don’t worry. It will be easy.

Page 29

View of a half-girl, half-octopus, floating in a transparent horizontal tube, which is half full of liquid. Outside the tube, there are some largish ray-gun like objects pointed at the tube. Technicians in white coats and dark goggles are manipulating the ray-guns.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I knew, of course, that a little blackmail would be necessary to get this project moving in the right direction.

Another view, from above, this of a more human-looking girl, floating naked on the surface of a now open tube. She has a number of IV lines running into her. Her eyes are closed. A WOMAN DOCTOR is examining one of the IV lines. SHACKLEFORD is standing at the side of the tank, looking at the girl, leaning a little close…

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Their set-up here was just a little too obvious.

Same view as before, except that now the Woman Doctor is glaring at Shackleford, who has straightened up and is pretending to pay close attention to something else.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I mean, it’s not like I’m really the top person in my field. I had other attributes that made me a good candidate for their little scheme.

View inside Edith/Octopus’s tank. There are a number of screens visible to Edith/Octopus. Some show data, others show video feeds of girls in the process of being transformed back into girls.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Beyond my ability to monitor the process and offer helpful suggestions from my data.

Flashback view of Edith, sprawled on a couch, the glow of a television set, having fallen asleep.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): They did their homework. A scientist with no close family, no significant other, about to not get tenure…

Page 30

Another view of Edith, hanging on the cruciform gurney.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): No one would ask too many questions if Edith Sterling were to just drop out of sight

View of the padded room from Page 9 of this script (the one containing the captive Dr. Sin), except that this time the room is empty.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): For all I know, there is no Dr. Sin. They needed help with their own research project that went off the rails.

Two working-class guys, sitting at a working-class bar. A bartender is polishing a mug in the background. Half-finished beers sit in front of both men. One is telling a story to another, who wears an astonished expression.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): It’s pretty difficult to keep local cops hushed up.

Close-up view of the panel under which Edith was working before, and the junction box which she installed.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): But one thing their homework didn’t tell them was that I did a lot of hacking as a rebellious teenaged girl, and I still have my chops.

View from above, looking down at a section of the factory floor. We see down into Edith/Octopus’s tank. We can see her outline. She is surrounded by monitors, but can see out the front of the tank. Arrayed in front of the tank are three pretty young women, wearing white terrycloth bathrobes and slippers. On one end of the line of young women stands a nurse with a clipboard, on the other Shackleford, in full-dress uniform, making a hand gesture as if to indicate “Here they are.”

CAPTION (Upper left, Edith thinking): I insist on seeing my work completed. It’s a good thing that these women are at least physically normal again. I had to do this, because “young woman risks life to save other women” is the sort of sentimental script Shackleford and his crew will be fooled by.

CAPTION (Lower right, Edith thinking): They would have never gone for the real reason…

And the real reason has something to do with…

I believe the artist is Hajime Sorayama, and the image comes from this Hungarian (I think) blog.

Teuthology IX

Script for today:

Page 25

(Note: This is a large panel covering most of the page.)

A view of Octopus Edith, surrounded by screens and keyboards. She is manipulating multiple keyboards with her many arms.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Once I do get used to the new body, I find that it’s actually terrific for running a project where I have to analyze a lot of data.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I feel so amazingly flexible and free.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I’m actually starting to like this.

(Note: This is a smaller panel inset in the lower-right corner of the page.)

Close-up view of one of Octopus Edith’s arms pecking away on a small keyboard.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): And being able to spare an arm for one special project is very important.

Page 26

View inside the tank with the Edith Octopus manipulating various keyboards, levers, trackballs, etc. There are more screens than in the previous panel.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): It’s really all just a matter of looking at lots and lots of data.

Close up view of the Edith Octopus’s eyes. We see glowing alphanumeric characters (presumably the data on her screens) reflected in her eyes.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): It’s all just a matter of understanding the path forward…

Two tanks side-by-side. One contains the Edith Octopus, working busily away. The other has the half-girl/half-octopus, which is gazing toward the Edith Octopus’s tank.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): So that we might find the path backwards.

View of a report cover. The words TOP SECRET appear in stencil on the top of the report, with some illegible text beneath it.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Working fast, I produce a report on how this just might be done.

View of a bunch of military officers and white-coated scientists in some sort of “underground bunker” conference room.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): It’s spectacular stuff. I’m sure they’ll have fun reading and debating it somewhere.

View of terminal outside the Edith Octopus’s tank. Chen is sitting at the terminal, while Shackleford is standing behind him, looking grim.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Before they show up to tell me news that they’ll pretend to regret.

Page 27

Note: Captions labled “CAPTION (Machine talk):” are captions meant to indicate communications over the screens between the Edith Octopus and human beings on the outside. They should be differentiated from other captions by using a distinctively computer-like lettering.

View of the Edith Octopus gazing up at one of her screens. A small icon of Shackelford appears on the screen, with some illegible text written beside it.

CAPTION (Machine talk): Professor Sterling, I’m afraid we have some rather unwelcome news for you.

Close up view of the window with the icon of Shackleford. The window contains the text “The evaluating committee believes your proposal is infeasible and that we must discontinue the project.”

Close up view of a talk window (presumably on Chen’s screen. There is an icon of the (human) Edith next to the text box.

Contains text:

“Infeasible? The science is sound. If it is a question of resources…”

Another view of the Shackleford window.

Contains text:

“We are very sorry, Professor Sterling. But you knew the risks going in. If it’s any consolation, the data we have gathered has been a great help to…”

View of Chen, his face grimacing, his hands pulling back from his keyboard, which is crackling with electricity.



Close up view of Edith’s chat window.

“Admiral Shackleford, I’m afraid that I have some rather unwelcome news for you.”

Edith sure showed those Navy boys a thing or two about how to pull a double-cross, no? A celebratory marine image seems apropos.

The artist (I believe) is Dorian Cleavenger.  I found the image at the blog World of Fantasy.

Teuthology VIII

Script for today:

Page 22

Full-view of Edith hanging on the cruciform gurney. Bolts of “electricity” are surging forth from the large, ray-gun like objects and strikes her. Edith’s mouth is open.

SFX: Zzzzt!

CAPTION (Chen speaking): Initiate sequence beta.

EDITH: Ahhhrgh….

View of Edith’s head. It is hanging down with a stuporous expression.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Time passes. Something like consciousness comes and goes.

Close up view of Edith’s thigh. Someone in a biohzaard suit is injecting something into it.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): The techs follow Dr. Sin’s bizarre protocol. I get a lot of injections.

Another view of Edith’s head. Her eyes are shut and her mouth is hanging open. An eerie glow of radiation surrounds her head.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): All sorts of quanta penetrate my tender ribosomes.

Page 23

View of Edith’s midsection. Octopus arms are beginning are beginning to emerge.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Changes are beginning to happen to me.

View of Edith’s face. Her hair has fallen away, leaving her bald. The head is flattened, retreating into her body.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): It grows harder and harder to breath in the open air.

A still-more octopus-like creature in the tank. A panel extends down into the water, with buttons that the Edith-octopus can push with her arms. She is pushing one and a button is lighting up.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): An arrangement has been made for me to communicate.

A close-up of one of Edith’s hands. Her fingers are abnormally short.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Digits are retreating.

The gurney is positioned above a tank. It is now empty. A half-octopus, half-Edith like creature is in the tank below.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Fortunately I can take to the water now.

View outside the tank. A large antenna-like object is pointing at the tank.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): I sure hope we’re capturing all the relevant data.

A view slightly further up her arm. Round circles – the beginning of suckers, are starting to appear.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): New organs are starting to appear.

Close-up view of the junction box Edith was installing on the panel below. It is glowing slightly.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Because I am so fucked if we’re not.

Page 24

View of a Thaumoctopus mimicus in a tank (Edith, her transformation nearly complete – from here on visual depictions of Edith in octopus will be referred to as “Edith Octopus”). Inside the tank there is a large screen with various computer windows open on it, as well as a sort of oversize keyboard and trackball. Octopus Edith is gazing at the screen.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): My memories and consciousness seem to have survived the transformation. That’s fortunate. I think.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Some hasty improvisation in equipment was necessary for me to continue my work.

Close up view of Edith’s octopus arms on the keyboard.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): It takes some practice to get this rather tricky combination of arms to work.

View of the screen. In one of the windows is a sentence written in large text: CAN YOU COMMUNICATE, PROFESSOR STERLING?

CAPTION (Edith thinking): But with a little practice…

View from outside the tank. We can see the Edith/octopus within the tank. A screen facing us contains the text: YES, I CAN READ YOU.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): …I think I can manage.

Ah, the transformation scene. The inevitable way to make Dr. Faustus happy.

Exactly appropriate images might be tricky to find, but perhaps one that expresses how I feel was done by Molly Crabapple, who is blessed with weird.

You can see more of her amazing work at her site here.

Teuthology VII

Script for today:

Page 19

View of Edith, lying on her back underneath some sort of panel. Lots of wires hang down. Edith is holding a flashlight in her mouth pointed up, and she is reaching up into the mess of wires and electronics.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Properly handling the data…

Close up Edith’s P.O.V. In the mass of wires we saw in the previous panel. We can see her gloved hands, each holding a piece of cable, one of which is run into an adapter.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): …that involves a special arrangement…

Even closer P.O.V. On the two ends of cable, which have just been joined into the adapter.

SFX: Snap!

CAPTION (Edith thinking): ….which I must take care of myself.

“From above” view. Edith is strapped, naked, to the cruciform gurney. Various IV lines run into her and she is also wired up to a variety of sensors. Chen stands at her side, holding a clipboard.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): At long last, the time comes to undertake a most difficult experiment…

CHEN: Are you sure you want to go through with this, Professor Sterling.

Page 20

Close up on Edith’s face. She has turned her head to the side.

EDITH: Let’s do this thing…

Full-length view of Edith on the gurney, which is tilting upward. Edith is beginning to hang down by her bonds.

EDITH: Unngggh…..

Head-and-shoulders view of Chen, who is looking backwards and pointing.

CHEN: Initiate sequence alpha

View of a hand, throwing some sort of large switch.

SFX: Whrrrr….

Page 21

View up Edith, ¾ behind, upper half. We can see her head slumped down.

CAPTION (Upper, Edith thinking): Great Cthulhu this hurts.

CAPTION (Lower, Edith thinking): Small wonder crucifixion is associated with martyrdom.

View of Shackleford and Chen. They are both wearing radiation suits and dark goggles.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Aw, crap.

SHACKLEFORD: Everything all right, Professor Sterling?

View of Edith’s bare midsecdtion. Two “ray-gun” like objects are in the frame, pointing at her.

SFX: Whrrr

CAPTION (Edith thinking): It wasn’t even obvious that this part of the ordeal was necessary. It might just have been sadism on Dr. Sin’s part. But I don’t want to deviate unnecessarily from…

Close up on Edith’s face. She is showing grim determination.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): He isn’t here out of scientific interest. Or out of compassion for me.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): He likes seeing me like this.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Asshole.


What a nasty thing Edith has put herself up for! There are so many images of crucified women out there. Two examples (which could be multiplied manyfold), both from Janitor of Lunacy:


And from such different cultural backgrounds and artistic traditions as well.

Be ashamed, O humanity. Be very ashamed.


Teuthology VI

Script for today:

Page 16

View of Edith, the upper half of her. She has now risen out of her chair, having put the dossier open on the table, pinned under Edith’s splayed fingers.

EDITH: Is that what you call having “ethics standards,” Admiral?

View of Shackleford, still standing at this end of the table, but beginning to fall back. His mouth is hanging open.

SHACKLEFORD (broken-line balloon):

View of Shackleford again, this time having sunk back into his chair. He is covering his eyes with one hand.

SHACKLEFORD: What do you think, Chen.

View of Chen, sitting in his chair. He is in the act of scratching his chin thoughtfully.

CHEN: Well, the technical side of Professor Sterling’s proposal checks out…and from an ethical side I think she makes a serious point about doing something for the girls…

Another view of Chen, his face drawn into an insincere, tight-lipped smile. He is pointing into the air.

CHEN: You could always point out to the brass that the biochemical pathway data would be most useful for our BioEnhanced Soldier project.

View of Shackleford again, leaning forward on the table, his hands steepled, his brow knit in concentration.


Page 17

Night in Edith’s hotel room. She is wearing only an oversize GNOSIS COLLEGE sweatshirt. She has drawn the curtain to her window. She is holding a half-full wineglass and is standing, staring out the window, apparently lost in thought.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Always agreeable to get official approval for your own suicide run.

A view out the window. We see a cityscape by night.

CAPTION (Upper left, Edith thinking): I guess eyes lit up back at headquarters when they heard about the possibility of a new technology they could weaponize.

CAPTION (lower right, Edith thinking): I did of course emphasize there are families out there missing their daughters…

CAPTION (still lower right, Edith thinking): Guess I’d better try to get some sleep. There’s a lot of work ahead.

Page 18

Long view across the factory floor. There are a lot of white-coated technicians scattered around, and a lot more medical looking machinery. A small figure of Edith, in a white labcoat, stands in the middle of the panel and is pointing at something, as if giving directions.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): The promise of getting guns brings out a lot of money, a lot of equipment, and a lot of personnel.

Edith standing at a lab bench, wearing dark goggles and heavy gloves. She is holding a flask with long tongs which contains a glowing liquid.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Figuring out Dr. Sin’s protocols good enough to recreate isn’t that hard.

Edith looking down at a computer screen, her face illuminated.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): After all, he did make videos of his crimes.

Two technicians are working on something that looks like a large satellite dish.

CAPTION (Edith thinking): Capturing the data is trickier, but I have plenty of help for that.

Okay, sort of a bit of dull, bureaucratic script today.  I guess even mad scientists sometimes have to fill out paperwork and go to boring meetings (maybe that’s one reason why they’re so mad).   I’ll try to liven things up a bit with a thematically appropriate sirene, which I believe is the work of Max Klinger (1857-1920).