So, there is a monstrous creature called the Tayan. It was created many thousand years ago by a hyper advanced race that created it as a sort of biological torture mechanism.

It’s so huge it can swallow a weight class 7B creature (human sized) whole, and digest it without breaking a sweat. If you go down into the main digestion stomach, you will most likely be killed in about 5 years, after much pain and agony.

But some victims are sent to the secondary stomach, were they are paralyzed by neurotoxins and kept in pain for up to 30 years, until the Tayan needs extra energy during spore season. But, unknown to most of the Tayan’s victims, a worse fate soon awaits those in the belly of the beast.

While a victim lays paralyzed in the Tayans stomach, the creature slowly leeches away a creatures “neural energy” the energy that contains intelligent creatures memories, thoughts, and personalities. After the leeching is finished, the victim and Tayan become one, and the victims consciousness becomes essentially immortal, living out the rest of the Tayan’s 10,000 year lifetime. The entire ‘leeching’ process takes a lot of energy, from start to finish, so my question is what is a logical reason why a Tayan would save a victims consciousness?

-The Tayan is an Animal, but it can also photosynthesize.

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    $\begingroup$ Once more, look up Sarlacc. As regards the consciousness, it needs "neural energy" to breed, i.e., locate mates and propagate its genetic material. Since it's not too bright, it needs additional "neural energy". $\endgroup$ – nzaman Aug 25 '18 at 17:15
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    $\begingroup$ A man cannot survive more than a few days without drinking and eating, no more than few minutes without breathing. Unless this thing's stomach is a fully furnished apartment, there is no way this can happen $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Aug 25 '18 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ Spending 100\$ to maintain something worth 1\$ is not logic. Feeding a man 30 years while the amount of energy that can be gained from its digestion is way less is similarly not logic at all. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Aug 25 '18 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ Eating something today and digesting it in 30 years while keeping it alive is not digestion, is voluntary assumption of a parasite. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Aug 25 '18 at 20:06
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    $\begingroup$ I meant that it's simply too much. You want a giant carnivore plant, able to ingest humans, store them for years in agonizing pain while AT THE SAME TIME keeping them alive so they can still feel pain, wasting energies to keep their food reserve alive and awaken, and on top of that, it also cannibalizes their mind? It's simply too much. It feels to me like an overpowered adversary made to provoke incredible dread into your audience. The point is, at least some of your audience will see through this. You risk it becoming alienated with your novel/your media because you're overdoing it. $\endgroup$ – Liquid Aug 26 '18 at 19:18

I feel like the answer to this one is already in the question.

It was created many thousand years ago by a hyper advanced race that created it as a sort of biological torture mechanism.

You're correct that in evolutionary terms, such an expensive digestion system makes no sense. But since we're dealing with a creature that was genetically-engineered by Sufficiently-Advanced Aliens for the sole purpose of torturing people, that kinda goes out the window.

So the retention of its victims' souls is just another part of the torture. You've endured years of agony being slowly digested in its stomach, you think you've finally been put out of your misery... but now you're part of it, helpless to do anything but watch as others suffer the same fate as you did, over and over again for thousands of years. I dunno about you, but that sounds pretty horrifying to me.

  • $\begingroup$ Souls can’t feel physical pain though. $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Aug 25 '18 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ They can probably feel psychological or emotional pain, though. There's more than one kind of torture. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Aug 25 '18 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ Im still having a little trouble getting it. Where does the physcological pain come in? $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Aug 25 '18 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ Where does the physiological and emotional pain come form. I don’t understand $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Aug 25 '18 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Liquid: Oh, I finally just got it. Isolation and loneliness would be pretty torturous. I agree with you $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Sep 1 '18 at 23:25

Developer motto: Use Old Code.

Old code is good. It is already there. It is road tested. It saves you a lot of work. Use it if you can.

So it was with the Tayan. This consciousness saving thing is an artifact of the previous build, because its developers built the Tayan on the platform of an older (and very successful) structure of an organic device intended to preserve consciousnesses for later communication and possible reconstitution back to a physical body.

The developers of the Tayan were engineers and coders under pressure from their evil overlords who wanted a torture device, fast. The developers did not bother to bypass, delete or otherwise inactivate the old routines built into the framework they used as a basis. So the Tayan still does all that stuff. The overlords did not care and possibly did not know; they were satisfied by the torture aspects.

The developers also saw a very real possibility that they themselves or people they cared about might be fed to the Tayan. Maybe they felt guilt in making a machine with such an evil purpose. The consciousness preserving system, back when in use, was routinely used on the dying or those at great risk to die, so that they might be restored to a new body later. By leaving those routines incorporated into the Tayan, the developers saw a chance to save those who were fed to it, in hopes of later rescue and reconstitution when the evil overlords fell out of power.

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    $\begingroup$ If the whole process is so slow, could be a bug(TM). Since they tested it a few weeks and called it Good enough. After the first creature reached 30 years mark and started showing weird behaviour, the designers were no longer available. $\endgroup$ – Gustavo Sep 5 '18 at 18:15

The last thing its creators wanted was for it to protest its creation

The creators had no desire for an intelligent creature. Heavens, no! What if it decided that life stank and rationalized turning on its creators? Worse, what if it decided that it should draw a welfare check and watch I Love Lucy reruns rather than do its job? Oh, my... What if it never left home!


But they do really hate their enemies...

What the creators did want, however, was for the creature to fully understand how to create the most pain possible. It's not enough that the body slowly boil and melt over decades of digestion. The creators wanted their its victims to truly suffer. We don't simply want them to live through every moment there's a nerve to be simulated... we want them to be concious and sane while it happens!

So, the micro-tentacles that invade the brain don't just suck nural energy away, they actually manipulate memory while doing so. Are you afraid of spiders? Heh, heh... meet your worst nightmare! But don't forget that "sane" part. We want you terrorized of spiders, but we don't want you to become a gelatenous vegetable due to over shock.

So, one aspect of the Tayan's creation is that it can store away useful facts about torture. Was one guy really terrified by spiders? That's useful information! It gets stored and used again. Those memories (like any memory) that are used frequently are remembered longer. Those that don't slowly fade into forgetfulness.

But another aspect is how to deal with feedback concerning the state of the mind. It understands what conciousness and sanity are and is constantly seeking to keep both at high, active levels. Oh, yes... those devilish creators... they wanted you to really feel every possible second of your ordeal.

Because they really hate your guts....

But, to do any of this, the Tayan must leech that lovely neural energy.


The creature needs the neural energy because it has the ability to:

  • Understand the mind of its victim
  • Use that understanding to maximize fear and pain
  • Use that understanding to force the victim to remain conscious
  • Use that understanding to force the victim to remain sane

However, I propose...

  • The stored information can only be used for the creature's purpose
  • It cannot be used to serve its own self
  • It will not become more sentient, intelligent, or capable because of it

Otherwise you'd have creatures that become more godlike with every absorbed consciousness and you eventually have a creature that can modify its own purpose, making it very dangerous to its own creators. That would go against what I believe would be the creator's natural intent.

  • $\begingroup$ I don’t want to sound like an idiot, but can you give a simplified version of your answer. It’s a little difficult to “digest”. Get the pun, lol $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Sep 1 '18 at 16:25

Tayan was a prototype afterlife(hell) machine

The engineers who created Tayan were looking to create a machine that could store the consciousness of dying convicted members of society in a sort of custom generated after-life hell. This would both serve as a guaranteed hell as well as allow loved ones to commune with their incarcerated loved ones at will. While also serving as a deterrent.

The stomachs acted as a life support and preparatory process to aid the slow neural transfer of convicted patients to the hive mind. However Tayan was developed for the physiology of the now deceased race.

After transfer was complete the bodies would be absorbed (as food) by Tayan to further reinforce his purpose as a graveyard. (its like the ultimate gravestone)

Fast Forward to the present

Since Tayan was developed to ultimately absorb consciousness of A Species, he can still be trying (mindlessly)to accomplish that with the new species only has trouble figuring it out so he takes awhile to hack them in. And since its a hack in they may not enjoy the amenities of their new afterlife as it wasn't designed for their minds.

Edit: switched the posed argument from a artificial heaven to an artificial hell for convicts.

  • $\begingroup$ But the Tayan was designed to always cause agonizing pain. Why would they put that in an afterlife machine $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Sep 1 '18 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ Well I missed that part, I figured the ancients weren't around to explain why they made such a monster. $\endgroup$ – anon Sep 1 '18 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertPaul there now It is an artificial hell instead of an artificial heaven. The ancients were the ultimate atheists and loved their law. $\endgroup$ – anon Sep 1 '18 at 20:33

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