Science Fiction Story Development Musings: K. AND THE HOMO CEPHALOPODS

The homo cephalopods, or whatever they actually call themselves, are a long-existing species inhabiting a world somewhere far from earth by millions of light years. A land-based civilization, their actual population is unknown, but it is probably somewhere in the billions. They have progressed in technological advancement in seemingly subtle ways. The outside human observer would find it difficult to discern what is actual technology versus extremely efficient evolutionary adaptation of the h. cephalopods to their natural environment. They make use of some created tools with their eight appendages, with just one tool having multiple purposes. In short, they are materially very efficient.

An earlier evolved subspecies of h. cephalopods resides deep under the oceans of this planet of concern. Their population is comparatively smaller than their land dwelling descendants. Contact between these two societies is rare and considered particularly taboo among the above-water kind. However, on occasion, intermingling between them has occurred, leading to many episodes of recorded lore by each set of beings and a small population of half-breed homo cephalopods arising from some of these encounters. These comprise a rare and often especially adaptive and gifted group.

Homo cephalopods, as I shall keep referring to them out of convenience and sheer ignorance (until one or more of them conveys their true nomenclature to a human being), shall be encountered through inner space, namely via shamanic journeying by a very attuned person traveling to the Upper World. It is there that a certain non-binary individual will come upon these sophisticated, mysterious beings. I shall refer to this shamanic journeyer as K., though their name may change during future writings. K. will mentally-astrally ascend to the world of the h. cephalopods and witness an incredible sight.

It will be instantly deduced that the human is in astral form, so the h. cephalopods will reciprocate in kind, journeying mentally so as to properly attend to this out of body visitor. Through K.’s eyes, we will be introduced to what appear as human-sized, and larger, octopus-like entities. These hermaphroditic creatures will likely allow a particularly precocious one of them to approach K. Rapidly gathering information from each brain within every one of hier suction cup-filled tentacles while touching the earthling, s-he will then process it in hier larger central brain. Hier leathery skin and dark, almond-shaped eyes will surely at first be frightening to behold for K.

K. will wonder at the combination of exoskeleton and strong, pliant tissue that comprise the outer body of a homo cephalopod. Since evolving from the ocean over millions of star revolutions of their world, h. cephalopods developed extremely hard shells over their heads and sections of their tentacles. Their marine counterparts do not have these, rendering them comparatively more vulnerable to injury, though they are far better at maneuvering their bodies through small passages and camouflaging themselves to blend in wherever they happen to be.

Sections of this exoskeleton are shed from time to time, to accommodate growth of the h. cephalopod. This aspect of anatomy used to act as armor for the race during their now ancient history of warfare and small scale territorial disputes. Homo cephalopods eventually achieved homeostasis for their kind via peaceful means. A critical mass of them realized large-scale cooperation would save their population and result in more innovations for the overall betterment of the civilization. K. will unknowingly come upon a flourishing society ready to welcome contact with other beings.

Within the same solar system as the planet of the homo cephalopods is another world inhabited by a large mantid peoples, with three particularly dominant species roughly about as tall as human beings. There are green mantids, tan ones, and then those more mixed in coloration, with shades of red, blue, and purple being the predominant hues on those belonging to this third species. There are a range of much smaller, less advanced mantid genera, probably in the hundreds, residing across this primarily arboreal jungle of a world, though there also exist large swaths of savannah land. The tan-colored species of enormous mantids reside in this latter habitat.

All of these insectoid beings have always been war-like. They comprise a beautiful but cruel and hazardous network of societies battling for dominance over the entire land and resources of their verdant planet. The homo cephalopods have been aware of this neighboring world and its comparatively less advanced populations for a while. They have felt reticent to try and assist them with changing their destructive way of life. However, it is possible that the three dominant mantid groups will finally confederate and battle to the death against the underground dwelling tarantula-like creatures, a recently-discovered culture of giant, deadly venomed spider beings inhabiting the vast tundra of the planet’s north pole region. Interestingly, h. cephalopods have been in telepathic contact with these other eight-legged entities. This offers a sliver of nascent hope for peace to possibly occur between the mantids and these advanced arachnids. The h. cephalopods continue to discuss among themselves the best ways to approach helping the neighboring races of their shared solar system.

K. will journey several times to the world of the homo cephalopods. They will show them many places and things on their lands, including clutches of h. cephalopod eggs. These are cooperatively laid and attended to by several adults, with babies hatching and already familiar with each other within a wide radius, having telepathically communicated while still embryos with their fellow hatchlings. All tentacles of each creature pick up sound and tactile vibration signals at the start of gestation, the central brain then storing and slowly translating them throughout the cycle of development. A basic language is then already known by each new h. cephalopod upon hatching.

The knowledge K. takes with them from each shamanic journey back into their physical waking life on earth will be dense and take time to understand and carefully, selectively disseminate to their fellow humans. Fortunately, they belong to a circle of open-minded journeyers, led by a particularly wise and astute shaman and healer, with whom K. can slowly begin to impart some of this wisdom. It is possible that others within this close-knit group will each then also journey to the planet of the homo cephalopods when they next choose to go to the Upper World. Maybe the group leader will ultimately have all members simultaneously journey to this mysterious place K. initially came upon. From there, this small delegation of sensitive humans can begin to share select information of peaceful higher consciousness to others around them. In turn, perhaps even more people will then shamanically travel directly to the h. cephalopods and pass on their deep learning– occurring during these inter-species astral exchanges– far and wide across America and the world.

(This all comprises the framework of a story, or set of stories, waiting for me to write.)

12 thoughts on “Science Fiction Story Development Musings: K. AND THE HOMO CEPHALOPODS

  1. This is astonishing! Your imagination never ceases to amaze me. When I watched/listened to the Collective Trauma Summit a few months ago, I was quite surprised to see all the usual lecturers (Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk, et al) touting the use of psychedelics as an effective source in the treatment of trauma. The American Indian lecturers often share their ideas on this very subject. Dr. Gabor Mate is not shy about sharing his experiences on this very subject either. I thought hier was a typo until I looked it up. Nascent is a word I’ve looked up before but forgot the definition. H. Cephalopods and mantid were the two other words I did not recognize. I can see myself possibly using “nascent” in describing a healing part. For some reason, I really love that word.

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    1. Thank you! I actually wasn’t at all thinking of the psychedelics angle when I wrote this, but I can see why you mention it. As you may have gathered “homo cephalopods” is a fictional mixing/conflation of homo sapiens and cephalopods, the latter comprising the whole order/family of octopi/pusses, squids, and cuttlefish.

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  2. I went back to read this to see where I saw a psychedelic angle to it the first time around. This part of the story seems to have sent me to that understanding. “The homo cephalopods have been aware of this neighboring world and its comparatively less advanced populations for a while. They have felt reticent to try and assist them with changing their destructive way of life.” It really doesn’t make much sense, but I think from the place I spend most of my life, on the inside looking out and feeling quite separate from most entities, there is a sense of otherworldliness that feels quite like what I imagine a psychedelic experience might feel like. I think this sentence, “This offers a sliver of nascent hope for peace to possibly occur between the mantids and these advanced arachnids.” verifies my hypothesis. It may have to do with personification, perhaps, the only way I can make sense out of and be in an unsafe world that I have no clue how to navigate, except from the inside/out. I have apparently over-identified with the homo cephalopods.

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    1. I am impressed and heartened to read that you identify with these very non-human (at least physically, that is) fictional creatures. I think your feeling “over-identified” with the h. cephalopods is wonderful. Like them, you have a big, warm heart and compassionate outlook for others, which is something to be deeply treasured and encouraged. This gives me hope that other readers will also “get it” like you do, re: what the story is truly about.

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  3. Wow! This is one fertile imagination πŸ™‚
    You likely have enough for a novel here, assuming there is much detail you haven’t shared in your post. Just work out the central and secondary (and tertiary) conflicts to be resolved, and why the human journeyers are there/what their role is and you’re ready to crank it out! I love the communication abilities. I see it now, with a map in the beginning of the book, and a genealogy of characters and species etc. Curious about the shamanic upper world connection when the system of the cephalopods and mantids are middle world beings? Or are they? Are they in this ordinary reality (albeit a different solar system) or are they beings in the non-ordinary reality of the upper world? Ahh there is a lot of richness here! I hope you’ll elaborate on this story soon and share it!

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    1. These are all such excellent, helpful questions and suggestions for me to ponder and work out, all towards fleshing out a novel. I think the mantid and arachnid races are of the physical reality, Middle World for sure. As for the homo cephalopods, that feels less clear to me. My sense is that they somehow straddle both the Middle World in their actual physical form, but also have astral and ethereal counterparts in the Upper World, if that can be at all possible. I’m still figuring that out. Thank you for all your helpful feedback here!

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  4. Well met! Sorry – very late here… I’m no expert on shamanic journeying, but if they occupy a planet, they are corporeal and therefore of the Middle World, wouldn’t they be? It seems you paint them as a physical species who have managed to develop enough to avoid violence, use telepathy and recognize non-corporeal beings as astral travelers. An advanced society to be sure, but still a physical one. Not that I’m telling you how it is, but rather how I envisioned what I read. Interested to see how the cephalopods (however you spell that) maneuver in the Upper World and to what purpose. Enjoyed your outline very much. πŸ™‚

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    1. Hi Victoria. Thank you for reading and commenting! Much appreciated. You are indeed correct with everything you say. I really should phrase the method of transport to and interaction for K. with the h. cephalopods as being astral travel and then communication between astral bodies, respectively. My thought for the book is to go back and forth in chapters between the world of the h. cephalopods (and that of their neighboring mantids), K.’s life on modern day Earth, and the times when K. interfaces with the h. cephalopods via astral travel. The portal place of entry, initially at least, for K. will be via participation in their shamanic journey circle. Eventually, K. will probably also do astral travel on their own to the h. cephalopods without always having to only do so within the journey circle. Ultimately, all of this journeying/astral travel is in the Middle World, obviously.

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