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MacBeard, Professor. Professor MacBeard was created by “Victor Rousseau,” the pseudonym of Victor Rousseau Emanuel (Jim Anthony, Ivan Brodsky, Clifford, Ronald Gowan, Phileas Immanuel, King of Knaves, King’s Courier, Isabel Marston, Dr. Martinus, Pennell, Shawm, Thorne, Mr. X), and appeared in “The Sea Demons” (All-Story, Jan 1-22, 1916); the serial was collected as The Sea Demons (1924).
Professor MacBeard is a Mad Scientist. Lt. Donald Paget of the R.N. submarine D55, and his friend, the eccentric naturalist Masterman, discovers that a race of small aquatic humanoids has evolved into a species with a hive-mind intelligence and the ability to congeal the substance of their bodies so that they become gelatinous. These creatures, which Masterman calls “sea demons,” are ferocious and carnivorous, with a taste for human flesh. They attack Britain—the home of their queen is near the Shetland Islands—and Britain is so badly off that it must cancel World War One. Professor MacBeard, a misanthrope who yearns for the end of humanity, offers to lead the sea demons into a trap if he will be given an American woman as his wife. At length the sea demons die—their lifespan is only thirty days—and MacBeard is killed.
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