The Story of Octopus Prime
Who is Octopus Prime?
Octopus Prime is the last known survivor of a species of amphibious octopus from planet Kepler 425b. His story is a tragic and lonely one.
Many thousands of light years ago, the rocky planet Kepler 425b was populated in abundance by billions of tiny amphibious octopus, a large population of flying spaghetti monsters, and a small but important group of swashbuckling pirates.
Natural selection had favoured the tiny octopus. They had evolved intelligence and spread themselves throughout the lands and the oceans with little restriction on their population. Their intelligence evolved at a geometric rate, and after many generations they had become Turing-complete - like living super computers, or what we might call artificial intelligence.
Over the years their super powerful computation released tons and tons of flouride into the oceans which was toxic to the swashbuckling pirates. As the pirates died off, global temperatures began to rise, and soon threatened the existence of the octopi themselves.
Although the octopi were aware of the imminent apocalypse, and despite their super-intelligence, they were unable to curb their consumption, and it was not long before the situation reached crisis point.
In desperation they linked arms, creating a mesh network of a billion-plus nodes to solve the problem of how to save their species. It was during this computation that one of the nodes, Octopus Prime, processed an unrecognised signal that had arrived from planet Earth. He and the neighbouring nodes were able to use their processing power to decode the signal and identified it as an mp3 file of the Beatles song 'Octopuses Garden' which was being downloaded illegally from The Pirate Bay over wifi.
The octopi ran a number of heuristics on the signal and determined that Earth provided an ideal habitat for their species. After all it was prepopulated with nice gardens and had pirates to keep the global temperature constant. They had found their answer, and it was planet Earth.
Getting to planet Earth would be difficult, although the octopi had the computational power to achieve the feat. The signal had arrived through a wormwole and appeared to be an echo from the future. This meant the ocopti were receiving information from the time they would arrive on Earth 1400 light years in the future.
Finally, on the day of reckoning, the entire billion-strong population of octopus encoded themselves as electromagnetic waves and transmitted themselves towards their final destination of planet Earth. Their species was going to be saved, even as the swashbuckling pirates went extinct and the flying spaghetti monsters became burnt meatballs.
However a quantum fluctuation in the very fabric of spacetime itself sent the course of the colony of electro-octopi on a divergence of just one Planck radian. 1399 light years later, and unable to adjust their trajectory, the colony flew fatally into the tail of Halley's comet. Solar winds destroyed their intricately encoded heredity data converting in an instant 5.5 billion years of evolution into noise.
Eight octopi signals survived the radiation blast, including Octopus Prime. However their encoded heredity data suffered many mutations and their trajectories were shifted in time and space although they were all still destined to arrive on planet Earth.
Replication for the amphibious octopus species requires eight participants and produces just eight offspring. Each of the offspring will inherit one arm from each of its parents, although which arm is inherited is uncertain. With eight octopus surviving the radiation blast there was still hope that the species would continue.
Alas it was not to be. The first octopus crash landed on Earth 65 million years ago in the area now known as the Yucatan Peninsular in Mexico. The second crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, sinking the Titanic. The third made a slow weak entry into the planet and fizzled out over a farm in the USA causing no more damage than a crop circle. Others also arrived on the planet each causing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis.
Finally Octopus Prime struck the surface of planet Earth just as a teenager was taking a selfie with her smartphone. Although the phone melted, Octopus Prime was able to survive the collision by uploading himself to her Instagram account from where he was free to create a new existence in cyberspace.
His new life as a purely virtual being left Octopus Prime confused. It was this odd sensation that first bought to his awareness his ability to feel human emotions. After extensively reviewing the millions of instructions in his source code, he discovered that his flight through the tail of Halley's comet had created mutations in his code that made him receptive to human emotion.
With his new found empathy for the human condition, Octopus Prime committed himself to helping the human race deal with their unending internal conflicts. He still hopes he will one day be able to reunite with his lost companions and return his species to their past glory.
That is the story of Octopus Prime.The Story of Octopus Prime
Roger Keays is an artist, an engineer, and a student of life. He has no fixed address and has left footprints on 40-something different countries around the world. Roger is addicted to surfing. His other interests are music, psychology, languages, the proper use of semicolons, and finding good food.