Potion, by Pascal Q. Porcupine

Story name: Potion
Author: Pascal Q Porcupine
Publication date: November 25, 1997 (on TSA-List)

Date: Spring, 706 CR
Location: Metamor Keep (Pascal's laboratory)


Late at night, Michael visits Pascal, hoping to learn what animal he's turning into. Pascal first offers him a nocturnality potion to keep him awake, then suggests he talk to Magus about his possible animal form.

Michael then asks about the morph ring she made, and if it could keep him human. Pascal tells him no magic is strong enough to undo the curse, and to live with it. He apologizes, and Pascal lets him use her personal ring to try out animal forms.

As he sees the options pop up, he inexplicably picks one marked "latex", and turns into a latex version of Pascal, complete with two pairs of breasts. He panics, but Pascal tells him it will only wear off if it's out of his head, even after he takes the ring off. She gives him some advice: to disrobe for comfort, to take cold showers to cool down, and to use a tube when urinating. She also gives him a breast pump for him to "explore".


Main Characters:

  • Michael: A newcomer to the Keep. He is in the very early stages of shifting, and is anxious to know his final form or to find some way of staying human. He uses Pascal's morph ring to accidentally turn into a duplicate of her.
  • Pascal: The Keep alchemist. She owns an experimental morph ring. One of her forms is a latex version of herself for mixing acidic solutions, among other personal reasons. She shudders at the thought that someone would want to stay human.


  • Copernicus: A lizard morph who showed Michael around on tour.
  • Matthias: A rat morph whom Michael has met, and who Pascal suggests would know where the cold showers are.
  • Magus: A wizard in the Keep.

Points of Interest

  • Several anachronisms are present: antifreeze, milligrams, caffeine, latex, showers, stainless steel, and breast pumps. Some of these could be excused as alchemical jargon and innovations (especially since the story is told from Pascal's point of view). However:
    • In our world, antifreeze was invented for use in internal combustion engines, which are neither widely used in Metamor Keep, and especially wouldn't have been known to a farmer like Michael. On the other hand, wood alcohol (made from pyrolysis) was known in historical times, has a sweet smell, and served as an early antifreeze.
    • Although the ancient Greeks did have showers using water from aqueducts, this is the only mention of showers in Metamor Keep; most Keepers take baths to cool down.
    • Who knows where Pascal found a breast pump.
  • Michael suggests calling the nocturnality potion "Hillside Rain" — a pun on "Mountain Dew".
  • This is the first time Michael and Pascal meet. They will both reference the events in this story many times later on.
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