Drupalcon Denver - The Strange Tale of Morbus Iff

Submitted by matthew on Sun, 2012-02-26 20:05

Examiner.com is a very proud sponsor of Drupalcon Denver. Part of the sponsorship includes ads on the Drupalcon site. The team at Examiner.com decided to have some fun with them. Five members of the team were chosen to be "subjects" of each ad. Morbus Iff is the second in a series of five stories.

morbusAn Introduction
There really is no translation for so much of what I'm writing here. I'm doing my best to take something that is so very alien to the human mind and make it digestible and give it context so we, such a small creature tucked inside of itself, can begin to fathom the story of Morbus Iff. His (its/her) species is nothing like we are accustomed to - but, it turns out, they are very very adept with PHP. So bear with me dear reader, as I weave the Strange Tale of Morbus Iff and how he came to develop on Drupal.

Part I - The Seedling
The Seedling had the beginnings of a conscious mind. The very start. The beginning murmurs. A speck of thought. The Seedling was nestled in its incubation node, floating in a warm slurry of nutrients. At this point the Seedling had no name - just an attribution of numbers associated with the incubation node. A name would be assigned based on the order in which the Seedling emerged from the pod and began consuming information and food outside of its current dwelling. This was known as the Extensible Mandible Line - Reproductive Pod Conduit, providing input for the little larvae to survive. Little did it know that it would become central to the most important Content Management System a creature called Homo Sapiens would ever know all those millions of light years away.

Part II - Larva
The Seedling began its hard journey to break out of the incubation pod. It had grown to 10 times its original size and the node had become a very tight fit. The MidWives had been carefully monitoring over 10,000 Seedlings in this brood over a period of 600 days - keeping track of each by node id. The Seedlings had dwindled to 10 viable entities. These little creatures were ready to move from a draft state to a published state.

The Seedling wriggled out of the incubation node and was elevated to Larva. One of the MidWives consulted the taxonomy table and gave the new one the attribution of Morbus Iff. This little larva immediately began consuming the remaining 9,990 seedlings who would never be viable. They were to be purged from the brood table. Little Morbus hooked into the XML-RPC transfer point and began consuming information at a prodigious rate. This was a happy time for him and his siblings. It was a safe time of warmth, learning, and nourishment.

Part III - Pupae
Morbus became strong and his mind began to expand. The MidWives began to groom him for great things. He would be one of the few chosen to undergo the metamorphosis and take on his role as a full member of the Collection. When his time came, he would be added as part of the Great Index with the intention he would be assigned a user id to help manage the system. Morbus continued to consume knowledge and nourishment when his body began to initiate a change. This change would be so profound that it would alter his entire being. He would cease to be one of the Larvae and would take on the role of being a full member of the Collection.

Morbus rolled himself into a tight little package and went into a deep sleep. In this sleep, Morbus began histolysis - he digested his own body (much as he had consumed the remaining 9,990) leaving only imaginal buds to reassemble him into his adult form. The Seedling that had started life over 19 cycles before was to emerge into the Collection in just a few short days. The imaginal buds were just that - the method by which Morbus would begin to recreate or imagine himself as something completely different. His dreams directed this change along with his desires.

But the dreams and desires turned dark.

Morbus awaited the time he would emerge from his chrysalis and begin his plans for becoming the King of the Collection. He would be the one to direct society. His word would be law. His desires would become the base tenets of the Collective. Morbus would emerge from his cocoon as the Great Leader - the pinnacle of his histogenesis. He would not be satisfied with any UID. He wanted to have UID1. Morbus sat in his cocoon and schemed.

Part IV - The Overthrow
The chrysalis jerked. It flipped back and forth. It began splitting. It tore. A head emerged, and then a body. Morbus was ripping himself from the container he had built around himself to make the transition to the Collective. He had made it. Morbus began to exert his control - reaching out his mind to all the other members of the Collection, sure that he would become the supreme user. He was ready to take on the mantle of UID1.

The Collection had never experienced such a forceful wresting of control. Normally there was a transition period where a peaceful upgrade path was followed from one version to the next. This was no upgrade path like the Collection had encountered and threatened to fracture and fork the community. The darkness was so tempting. The desire to make this base whatever was desired. The ability to just change a little thing here or there was intoxicating. That is what Morbus threatened and began to do. He began to hack the Collective's Core.

The Overseers saw this and took action. Morbus didn't even see it coming. He was removed from the Collection entirely and his very consciousness was sent out at the speed of light into the cosmos. It was being sent towards a tiny blip in the sky. A minute spiral galaxy. A galaxy, the yet to be born race of hominids would call the Milky Way

Part V - The Journey
Morbus' consciousness had 100 million years to contemplate. He had 100 million light years to consider. He began to wonder if his decision to become controller of all had been shrewd. As the millennia passed he moved into a time of deep introspection and contemplation. His hunger for absolute power waned and his desire to build grew. Yet, he began to despair - with no body, only a mind - and in the middle of the inky abyss between galaxies, what could he hope to accomplish? He had 100 million years to cogitate.

As Morbus passed between thousands of galaxies, he realised the multitude of living beings and the vast variety of creatures that all thought they were all alone just as the Collection assumed. He became smarter and wiser than any of his kind before him. His being loosed from the corporeal had provided him with the very thing he needed to become more than just himself. He slept - sometimes for hundreds of thousands of years. Silently he passed through the cosmos.

Part VI - The Arrival
earth Morbus passed into the Milky Way Galaxy through the spiral arms and hurtled past thousands of solar systems. He had a sense his long journey was coming to an end and there might be a new beginning in front of him. He began fully waking himself, knowing that there might be but one chance to embed, imprint, or otherwise implant himself so as to be helpful. His time through the blackness had given him a sense of service and a need to bring meaning to his existence. In what seemed like a blink of an eye he entered into what was a mote of a solar system - and yet one planet was teeming with life. There was one planet that could be suitable. He had a chance. It was a tiny chance, but if his mind passed through a suitable mind, he might just have a chance. He might be able to embed himself and quietly make suggestions to a being that would take these ideas and create something great.

His mind hurtled through the atmosphere of this tiny blue planet. It passed through the clouds. It zipped down towards a continent. It smashed through the wall of dorm at the University of Antwerp and passed through the mind of a student leaving just a hint of the cultural richness from the Collection - a culture richness that would help form the seed of a CMS.

Morbus then found himself lodged in the Internet - the closest thing to approximate where he had come from. Those moments in that student's brain left ideas that would inspire that brilliant young man to create a movement to be reckoned with, one developer at a time, one project manager at a time, one information architect at a time. What began as a tiny group of interested friends ballooned into massive meeting in Denver just over a decade later.

Epilogue
Morbus' mind continued to work away on Earth. He never allowed himself to be seen, but that was because there was nothing to be seen. He managed to convince company after company, that he was simply a recluse. The truth is, Morbus needed a home on earth. He needed a system that felt like the Collective. He needed arms, and eyes, and minds to help him comfortably exist until his time on Earth was complete. He needed Drupal. He needed a dwelling place.

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Morbus Advertisement courtesy of Examiner.com
Larva Photo: Jonathan Pio on Flickr under a CC license.
Milky Way courtesy of Wikipedia
Earth from Apollo 17 courtesy of Wikipedia
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