tagSci-Fi & FantasyAn Interview with Despina Jones

An Interview with Despina Jones


Author's Notes:

There isn't much sex-- yet. But there could be. Despina and her friends and family are going to be a place I will want to visit a lot!



Despina, thank you for talking with me!

"Wow, you're welcome but really thank you! You know, I hardly ever get to talk to so many people at one time."

I guess the first thing is to explain to people what you are-- who you are.

"Okay, I'm a symbiote, I'm two critters rolled into one-- a human being, and a cephaloid. it's not an octopus or a squid even though some people call us that. It's actually more like... well, what I've been told is that it is a bunch of critters itself, that all symbioted together? So that made it easy for them to join with humans. Some humans. Doesn't always work."

Symbiosis means that both organisms benefit from their shared living. How do you benefit, and how does your cephaloid?

" I benefit... Well, I get to use all of these limbs. I have five what I call heavy arms, that are real strong-- I can lift things, pull myself right up off the ground, pick up my girlfriend. (laughs) I can walk on them, too, faster than with my human legs. And then the agile arms-- I got three that eat, three that feed, seven that can manipulate stuff... like fingers, only two feet long! All of my arms can scent-- what I call scent, they sort of see smells, and the electric currents on people's skin."

"You can tap into your symbiont's experiences?

"I sense it. We are all one critter now. There is no difference between us. So other benefits are that I stay real healthy. I don't age very much. I dispose of dying cells in my body and regrow the healthy ones."

Which is rather how your surgery services work, is that correct?

"Yeah. I hope that the folks that hear me don't get upset by this stuff, but I kinda want people to know how it works."

We should preface this by pointing out that Healer Despina has helped hundred of people survive illnesses that would have killed them otherwise.

"Yeah, cancers and infections, failures of organs, stuff like that. I can't cure everything, but I'm still learning stuff."

What Despina does is enter the body of her patient.

"I cut a tiny hole in. It's smaller than most surgeons would have to cut. I can slide one or two of my eatpalps-- my eating tentacles-- in, and I look for the disease and I dissolve those cells with enzymes and suck them out. Then I make a chemical that encourages the healthy cells to grow a little faster. It's kinda slow, like it can take a day sometimes, but it's very thorough..."

You suck out the dissolved cells?

"Yeah, through my eatpalps. I eat the bad cells. That's the food my symbiont eats."


"Oh yeah, a lot of people look like that when they hear that part. But you know you asked what the benefit to my symbiont is, and that's what it is. These things were predators, and they had to subdue their prey and then wait for the bug or little animal or whatever-- to liquify, and who knows how long that might take? And they might get chased away or something, you know, out in the wild. So the benefit for her--"


"Well, yeah. Anyways, the benefit is that she doesn't have to hunt, her prey comes to her. I have a steady stream of people who come to me to be cured of things and each one of them is food for us. For me."

You know, there used to be people called "misery eaters..."

"Oh, wow. Wow, that's ... yeah, I like that..."

Can I describe you to our audience?


I am looking at a nude woman. She is very dark-skinned, and carries a magnificent head of dreadlocks. She is a bit-- if you don't mind, Despina-- a little bit thick in the waist, where her symbiont, as I understand it, is carried. She is sitting with her legs spread wide apart, because all of her tentacles emerge from between her legs. It is a strange sight, to be frank.

"The symbiont is rooted in my pussy, yeah. Not many men host these things! We humans don't have any other orifice that isn't absolutely crucial to living, like if you got your nose or mouth or butthole plugged by a little squid you would die."

I keep trying to make sense of it. The tentacles are covered with a smooth skin, I think, that's a bit iridescent-- brownish, bronzey. They are nearly as dark in color as her skin.

On a white girl they would be more greenish, and paler. I think they pick up the melanin from the human host. And they tan when I do. I'm out in the sun a lot. The skin on them isn't constructed the same as on my human body, though.

Her heavy arms are heavy looking, as thick as her human legs. Right now they are coiled around her human legs, which seems to be how they prefer to rest. The agile arms have several different looks. They are much more slender, some of them about as thick as one of my fingers. They are... more active, in fact, I don't think they ever stop moving.

The heavy arms are my mobility, the agiles are my senses and manipulators and stuff. The ones you see moving are keeping their sensory organs stimulated so that I know what's happening around me.

Now, how did you... um... end up like this?

"Some men did it for sex, what else? I was down on my luck, and working on Dime street, and one of the houses was looking for a girl to be an exotic, and I was desperate enough to say yes. So they implanted a tadpole-looking thing in my pussy. Then I was a maid while it hatched, and grew large enough to play with other people's cunts and dicks. I did that for about eight years, was the tentacle girl. So, that was about as long as any girl had lived, the symbiote starts to die and she dies too-- I didn't know that when I got it, but I might not have cared, actually.

this was forced on you?

No, it wasn't. Look-- you gotta make the very clear, I was never ever forced to take on the symbiosis. I could have worked okay without it.

I understand.

I had found my brother-- Berend, you met him-- and I was sending him my money, and about eight years I was just feeling... better and better. And my symbiont was still growing. They were almost as long as my legs. And I just had this idea that I better get out before the Hall Of Science got interested... So I acted like I was failing, and asked them if I could go and live with my brother while I died. And that's what I've been doing since-- living with my brother -- but not so much dying."

The symbiont is in, as you say, your pussy. Isn't that a small space? I would think that the wieght of your large arms--

"Heavy arms."

Heavy arms, yes-- alone would create quite a strain!

"It started in my pussy, yeah. But it-- okay, you're going to give me that look again-- it ate away my uterus and stuff, and filled all of that space. It's all wound through my whole torso, taken over some of my intestine, and is all linked into my nervous system. I'm sorry, I know how it sounds. It feeds nutrients into my intestines and it takes nutrients too. I eat people food and I.. um... squid eat."

Do you have to eat diseased flesh?

"No, I can feed off of other things, but I have to liquefy them-- we call it 'chow...'"

And you developed this healing role, correct? How did that happen?

"Well, it started with things like lesions... on the skin, you know. And a boy who had gangrene. I gave him soper from my feedpalps, to ease the pain, and then I thought about it and my eatpalps thought the gangrene scented okay-- I'm sorry, I know-- and I just tried it. We saved most of his leg-- more than the surgeon would have. So I started healing skin diseases, helping wounds.

"Then Berend's wife got sick, pancreatic cancer. And we talked about it for a long time, but the treatments the doctors had weren't doing any good, so... That was the first time I went inside anyone."

You mention a chemical that you produce, that helps regenerate cells? is that a natural function too?

"It's the growth serum that the eggs are filled with. We worked it out. My feedpalps learned to secrete it at will instead of only when I make tadpoles. It encourages T cell growth."

You make tadpoles?

"Eggs, one or two once in a while."

And do you-- have you ever implanted one?

"In a woman's pussy? Oh, yeah. A handful of times now. Okay, I bet I already know what you're going to ask-- first yes, I do worry that they will die. But I always make sure the woman knows what might happen before I let her go ahead. And I pick real careful. They have to taste right for it. have the genetics or the chemical balance or whatever it is that can accept the symbiote. My first didn't make it, but I have one daughter that is nine years now and going strong. And yes, they work their first years for me, here-- they do sex. It's good training for a baby symbiont as it turns out. The arms are too short to do much else yet, and the symbiont learns about human bodies... And the woman does too, come to that."

So, she would stay with you?

"Yeah, she would have to. She needs training, she would owe me, you know? And I would want to keep an eye on her."

I... Well, I can think of a hundred more questions to ask you, but we've run out of time.

"Thank you for the chance to tell this stuff."


The interviewer put down her stylus and flexed her hand, grimacing. "I wonder what the audience will think about that," she said. "I kind of worry that you will get the flaming torches and the pitchforks."

"Really?" The tentacle monster looked surprised. "Yeah. Um-- I don't want no trouble, really. i got too many people here, family. If me talking makes things unsafe, I'd rather--"

"With all due respect, you talk real unsafe."

"Now, that's not fair! You asked me those things!"

"I did, but you didn't have to answer," the interviewer said smugly. "Listen, I can do you a favor right now, or not."

"Depending on?"

"I want to be implanted--" her words ended in a shriek. Despina's tentacles had whipped around her and pulled her close to the black body so quickly she was breathless.

Something tickled the corner of the interviewer's mouth, and a fine tendril insinuated itself between her lips. "Open," Despina said. "I need to know if you'd live through it."

"Oh wait--" the interviewer said, in the moment before the tentacle wriggled into her throat. She gagged and coughed in a fruitless attempt to send it back out. The sensation of something so alive and inquisitive investigating her lungs made fear prickle over her body. She tried to bite, but the thing was behind her molars. It withdrew quickly, and plunged down her esophagus instead. The interviewer squeezed her eyes shut against the implacable expression in the healer's eyes, her hands grabbing fruitlessly at the multiplicity of appendages that held her. Her stomach twisted once more as the thing pulled out of her mouth, and she retched, humiliated.

"I'm sorry, sorry!" she wailed when she could speak again. "Please-- let me go, I didn't mean it!"

"Are you sure?" Despina asked. "Because you could take the implant. You would have a pretty good chance."

"I-- what?" the intervewer paused. "But I tried--"

"Yeah, that's no big issue," Despina replied. "People try that stuff. Don't even worry about it. But you could carry a symbiont. I really think you could." Her face was glowing, alive. "Listen what's your name? Not that stupid 'I am interviewer,' but your real name?"

"It's um-- I am Maize," the interviewer said. The name sounded strange on her tongue after going for these two years unused.

"Maize. Okay. Look, I want you to stay here for the next three months, till the eggs come. You can learn more about what you would be doing, more about the symbiote, get to know us, work at our hospitality house. If you decide to take on a symbiont, you would stay here about ten years while you mature, so you can get training. After that you would be able to write your own ticket, really. Go anywhere."

"Um... Despina, Healer-- I was rash when I said that. I'm not-- I have this calling, as the interviewer, and-- how do you know you would want me around ten years, we might hate each other--" Maize wriggled against the hold.

"We might not," the Healer murmured. "It's my nature to get along... and help other people get along too. Go on, sit down for a minute. Get over the dizziness. You'll feel fine in a little while. "

"What did you do to me?" Maize asked. The tentacles lifted her effortlessly, and left her on a restbench.

"I don't let anyone threaten my family, Maize." A tentacle stroked her cheek. " You're a very smart woman, for one so young. And you have a lot to learn." Despina pushed her dreads away from her face. "After the meal, we"ll talk about changing what I said, okay?"

"Editing, yeah." Maize absently scratched at a bee-sting itch on the back of her neck. "Thanks... thanks for everything, Healer." She leaned back against the rest, relishing the subtle reshaping as it adjusted to her movement. The room was filled with honey-yellow sunlight, gilding the deep black skin of the strange and marvelous creature before her, and bringing up the iridescence of her arms.

"Yeah, and thank you, too. Come on out to the common rooms whenever you're ready, okay? Our hospitality is yours."

Maize watched her leave the room. It should have been an extraordinary and even comedic vision, the sleekly muscled back and buttocks atop a complicated tangle that included two human legs and five boa constrictors, accompanied by the waving grass skirt of her agile arms; but somehow, Maize felt as if she had been seeing that sight for all her life.

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