With Apologies to Franz Kafka

Title: With Apologies to Franz Kafka
Plot, or Lack Thereof: An origin tale for a Tentaspy
Reason for Banishment: Ran out of steam.


One morning, anxious dreams, waking up a monster, blah blah blah.

You know how it goes. Take one normal Spy—or as normal as a Spy was going to get—switch his lower half for tentacles and viola, instant hilarity.

Except I wasn’t laughing. Not when I’d been transformed into an aquatic creature and we were miles away from natural bodies of anything even moist. On top of that, I was thrashing around so hard from panic that I was hurting the teammates who were trying to help.

The Medic must have shot enough tranquilizers in me to kill two elephants before I stopped trying to strangle anyone within range. After that, because I sank into a useless pile of limbs that was about as easy to carry as wet cement, it took the whole team to load me onto an unused bomb cart and wheel me into the communal showers.

I regained conscious thought under a constant stream of both water and healing, my new appendages doing things to the Engineer’s old Dispenser that even made me, master of making people uncomfortable, feel embarrassed. “Well,” I began, trying to get the limbs under control, but they seemed to have a mind of their own. “Zis eez razzer awkward.”

“I’ll say,” the Engineer agreed, watching me from the other side of the room.

That he was my babysitter didn’t surprise me, but the lack of a certain science-happy German did. “Where eez zee Medic?”

“After it hit him that yer a half-man, half-octopus, I think his brain overloaded a bit. Last I saw ‘a him he was foamin’ at tha mouth in ‘is room. And me, well, I’m more worried about figurin’ how yer gonna stay on tha team right now.”

As much as I loathed the idea of being vivisected by the Medic, being passed onto the higher ups as nothing more than a specimen was a much more frightening prospect. I felt myself circling closer to the Dispenser. “One zing at a time, oui? I haven’t even figured out how to work zese new ‘legs’ yet.”

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