“Mister Dustman hadn’t screamed. Even after he’d gotten elbow deep- Hell, even shoulder-deep into that blender and much of what used to be his arm had overflowed onto the table.”
“Circe 2” and the related “Circe 1″ are big (16″ x 24” actual) visual studies of a character I’m working on for an art book. You can tell just by looking at her that she’s “something special” And the excerpt below is, I believe, quite telling as well. Here, she’s recalled by another character:
“His eyes had sparkled and popped and jiggled around in their sockets from all the pain, but he’d stayed quiet. While See-See had just sat there, watching him and smiling her sweet, See-See smile. Sensing his pain, but not feeling it herself.
She couldn’t feel it, even if she’d wanted to; all of her pain receptors had been removed by Birdsong at birth (or had never been there in the first place; the ghouls had never told her which). She could feel everything else, but she’d been numb to pain.
Because Patricia/Birdsong had wanted See-See to view pain as objectively as possible, so that she might inflict it as remorselessly as possible. As clinically. According only to what the algorithms in her head told her, and based solely upon the detailed readouts scrolling, endless, across the backs of her eyeballs.
Calypso’s readouts are minimized at the moment and parked at the far edge of her peripheral vision. Because as See-See had discovered, even the readouts can be distracting. And unnecessary, really, once one gets the feel for all of the outward signs that those readouts typically quantify. Heart rate, perspiration, pupil dilation, skin temperature: they’re all plainly visible to anyone, even a normal guy like Gary, if one looks carefully enough. And as far as pain infliction, well, a scream is a scream is a scream. No readouts required. Which is why Caly’s readouts are now just a few pixels at the bottom-left corner of her left eye.
Where Birdsong had fucked See-See though was in never giving her that option. She’d been forced to view her entire life, twenty-four, seven, three-sixty-five, through those readouts. They could be blurred and looked past, but even then, it was like viewing the world through a piece of clear glass that had been overlaid with a moving fine print. The readouts were her vision, in the same way that a dog sees in black and white, or a bat “sees” with sound, or certain fish can see in ultraviolet. One might go so far as to say that See-See had viewed the world in shades of pain.”