Understanding the Creatures

Loki: Chapter 12

It was difficult for the exploratory team to understand how the creatures see their world. They live in what is darkness to us, except when volcanic fires can be seen briefly before the lava attains a crust of cooled rock. What they "see" is heat. Sound is their major sense, and is used for communication and navigation. The creatures live in small groups in balance with the available food supply, and can regulate their body temperatures by choosing the temperature of the water in which they live. This leads to variable rates of metabolism and a time sense very different from our own.

The creatures grasp objects with their tentacles, which makes it possible for them to pull objects towards themselves, or themselves towards objects. However, their bones do not provide much leverage, making the pushing of heavy objects impossible. This seems to affect how the creatures think about physical reality. We are still struggling to understand how the metaphorical implications of this situation affect their understanding of the physical world.

Life under water limits and shapes the sorts of technology that the creatures can invent. As almost everything that they need is freely available in their environment, they use their intelligence for communicating with one another, and for the invention of story songs.

The creatures' societal and personal lives seem to be organized on the patterns of their myths. We were only able to translate a few of these myths, but they seem to have great power in the sentients' society. Performing the myths, especially when the songs are very beautifully sung, may provide validation for actions and affirmation of the life of the singer or a celebrated other. The myths also seem to be used to project patterns into the future, being utilized as a kind of planning. So far as we can tell, the use of myth provides a sense of security and stability for the creatures.

Chris Jones
Sat Feb 18 00:31:33 MST 1995