Oct
08
2018

Creature seed: Octo𝜋.

My wife (who knows much more math than I do) is apparently dubious about this one.  I feel that this merely validates the concept.

Octo𝜋 – Google Docs

Octo𝜋

 

Octo𝜋 was apparently summoned during a particularly unfortunate seminar on pure mathematics; judging from surviving notes (before said notes devolved into the traditional inhuman, babbling screams) a professor was attempting to demonstrate what pi might look like in an eight spatial-dimension space, and… well.  He apparently succeeded. He just wasn’t expecting Octo𝜋 to be hungry when it arrived.

The trouble with describing Octo𝜋 is that it apparently feeds on mathematicians’ brains, and is attracted to too-accurate thoughts of, speculations concerning, and/or visualizations concerning Octo𝜋.  As a result, the people most capable of accurately describing this monster rapidly become the people least capable of describing this monster (or, indeed, anything at all).  The best description that anybody’s ever come up with came from a young security guard with dyscalculia, and she couldn’t do better than “this spider thing with smoky legs and a bunch of balls of fire instead of a head.”  Recording Octo𝜋 is not so much difficult as it is incredibly ill-advised; the footage has a distressing tendency to come to life and chow down on the closest weight analyst.

 

How do you fight Octo𝜋?  Mostly, you don’t. Oh, its physical form can be handily disrupted from this plane of existence via the application of enough kinetic energy.  That’s straightforward enough. Unfortunately, Octo𝜋 is the malevolent, ravenous manifestation of a metaphysical concept, and applied kinetic energy often finds it much harder to destroy things like that permanently.

 

Fortunately for humanity, there’s only one Octo𝜋 (that we know of), and it doesn’t have to eat very often.  Even if you are a mathematician, you can easily avoid Octo𝜋 — as long as you don’t know that Octo𝜋 exists, and aren’t capable of visualizing its properties.  If you do know and can visualize, then it can get a little messy.  One must learn to regulate one’s thoughts, which is difficult.  

 

Alternatively, one could join with a number of professional colleagues in the same predicament, and make arrangements so that Octo𝜋 is placated via a regular diet of its preferred food.  This is much, much easier. Not exactly congruent with traditional ethical systems, mind you; but self-preservation is a legitimate human life goal. Plus, the gathering afterwards is often quite congenial, in its way.  Very useful for maintaining professional contacts, and all that.

6 Comments

  • junior says:

    Sounds like the sort of thing that would turn up in The Laundry Files.

    • acat says:

      Indeed. “A certain university in Wolverhampton has been losing mathematician undergrads at a statistically unusual rate….”
      .
      Mew

  • Rockphed says:

    I have to agree with your wife: pi in an 8 dimensional space is still pi.

    No, what gets weird is the surface area of an 8-dimensional hyper-sphere. Not least because the “surface” of an 8-dimensional hyper-sphere is a 7-dimensional space, and thus has volume in more than twice the dimensions of a regular sphere.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      See, this is why I am mildly proud of this writeup. If that explanation showed up in-game, about halfway through Octo𝜋 will show up and eat the NPC’s brain.

      • Rockphed says:

        Well, I was going to ask you to present a slideshow for me. I would even send you slightly frumpy professorial clothing and book a lecture hall. Many of my pure math colleagues would be very interested to see it. There will even be a light repast afterward.

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