An Experimental Excursion in Artificially Amplifying Armoured Animalia

Reported Retroactively by Ms. Cadmium Drury Addiber
Graduate Studies: Contrapting, Abnatural Sciences, Electrogenesis, Illogical Reasoning, et al

University of Mispury-Gearfax
As provided by Jimmy Grist
Illustration by Dawn Vogel


The following research project took place sixteen (16) years ago. This report has been filled out retroactively for records of study and/or self-defence in a court of peers and professors.

The study was an attempt in enhancing the protection afforded terrapins from their shells. I’m no zoologist, but circumstances provided; and the venture really had more to do with inventing than anything. Various methods were incorporated with active and consenting testers, reaching multiple levels of success (including, but not limited to, unsuccess). Data was gathered on an impromptu damages-by-sight scale of my own composure, the fallibility of which will be raised and dealt with later. Testing was administered in a controlled environment before venturing into the field, then followed by a myriad of empiric jargon and regulation, so on and so forth. This is my least favourite part to write.

I’ve always defied the traditionally inane convention of giving away results in the abstract (Addiber, 091; 092; 093; 094; 095; 096). Not much fun in that route. So without further ado, I give you ‘An Experimental Excursion in Artificially Amplifying Armoured Animalia.’

As usual, ‘~’ denotes rough numerical approximations.



As part of an ongoing investigation into my particular university niche, a record of my earliest study was requested by Dr. D.M. Druschkopfv, who’s really a bit of a sexist git (Addiber, 095). Therefore this documentation is of a past experiment. The report has been retroactively pieced together from notes, eyewitness accounts, and experimental evidence, as well as personal memory of the experimenter–that being me, myself, Cadmi, who’s really not “a threat to the popular welfare” (Druschkopfv, 096). Take the oddities of this piece as an excuse for the improper-tenses and first-person narration; that way I won’t have to lecture the reader on the mistakenly-championed neutering of voice popular in contemporary academia.

The study budded on the morning of my seventh (7th) birthday in 080 S.D., where the gifts that transpired included one small and needy turtle for one small and needy girl. Though technically a terrapin, I decided to call it Frally. Frally was a runt of a red-bellied grub-chubber, a frighteningly fat and surprisingly soft-shelled species that honestly should’ve been eaten into extinction eons ago (Adelson, 074; see Appendix, Figure 1). But careful cultivation and domestication has led to the misguided preservation of the species (074), which is how my father wound up purchasing a pet from the fish market. I grew close to Frally, opening up possibility for bias. Thanks to an unintentional but rigourous malnourishment I was able to cart the lightweight female around with me, as children are prone to do. Had Frally known (or even been capable of comprehending) that she would be the first non-deliberate “subject” in a series of primitively-performed shell-proofings, she probably would’ve rather been broiled in brack-water.

An Experimental Excursion in Artificially Amplifying Armoured Animalia

Early artistic rendition of the red-bellied grub-chubber

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2012 collection.

Cadmium Drury Addiber is an entrepreneurial contraptionist, researcher-in-exile at the University of Mispury-Gearfax, and something of a renaissanceur. She has completed 7 partial degrees in subjects as diverse as disorganic systems, inorganicizing chemistry, and fleakersmithing. In 082, she was declared Breakthroughingest Youth by the Newcomb Fund for her work. She also serves on the advisory board for HEPA, Humans for the Ethical Protection of Animalia. Send correspondence through apportation coordinates: 432.675, -00.00178.

Jimmy Grist is a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He used to eat science for breakfast, but then all of his teeth fell out and his tongue decided it would only exist when unobserved. A short (but complete) list of other publications is available at (because .nets are cool, and .org didn’t make sense).

Since her inner child is approximately seven years old, Dawn Vogel was happy to contribute an illustration to this story. She has been published as a non-fiction editor and as a short fiction writer, but this marks her first foray into published illustration. In her alleged spare time, she runs a craft business, helps officiate roller derby, and tries to find time for writing. She lives in Seattle with her awesome husband (and fellow author), Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats.

Follow us online:
This entry was posted in Fiction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.