Layperson Oriented Briefing Document: Unknown Origin Recovered Unity Videos.
Author: Order of Research - Xenoarchaeology Division - Team Nebel 2.
These are a series of videos recovered from an alien artifact recovered from the home world of the species we know as "The Overseers". The details of its recovery are somewhat odd. Although aware of its alien origins, it had been preserved as an exhibit of alien curiosities and very little research had been done on it. Due to the peculiarities of Overseer evolution and cultural development, they never developed any computing or robotic technology and thus even the basics of such things were totally beyond their comprehension.
In the end, the artifact passed to our hands as part of a diplomatic ceremonial exchange of gifts. To put it mildly, researchers have found this to be one of the most amazing scientific discoveries in the field of Xenoarchaeology for generations. The information has an estimated age of several billion years old, it is nearly an order of magnitude more ancient than anything discovered before. Naturally, the probe is completely nonfunctional by this point, but after several years of research, an amazing discovery was made.
Despite its immense age, there still remained some recoverable information from its internal memory storage. Normally recovery of alien computer information is impossible, even with AI assistance. However, in this case, the artifact appears to have gone to great effort to retain its information in a format that was reasonably robust to deterioration and easy to decode. By what means is uncertain.
Most present speculation is that this one was one of many, self-replicating probes who passed on the information to each other. Although the probe is impossible to reliably date, an isotropic analysis indicates that its origin was in the Unity system, which adds weight to speculation of it being a self replicating probe. This explanation also accounts for some of the strange iconography which exists in the videos. There are strange overlays of symbols of indeterminate meaning in some parts of the video and these may have crept in over time as a result of attempted correction for replication errors.
Speculation of the meaning of these symbols and icons is outside the bounds of this report, it being the province of the Xenophilosophy and Xenopsychology research divisions.
The first segment of the video concerns the organism which the Xenobiology division considers likely to be the Last Universal Common Ancestor for life on the Unity system. This hypothesis is still controversial at the time of writing, however. An increasing body of evidence is suggesting that this organism is instead the Most Recent Common Ancestor of most common animal life on unity.
The organism in question was a simple, self propelled lifeform that absorbed plant proteins. Despite it's debated MRCA status, other organisms near it were occupying local fitness maximums at the time. However, due to a shorter breeding cycle and resultant higher mutation rate, it appears to have been able to adapt in response to local challenges more rapidly than other lifeforms.
Although there were almost certainly multiple evolutionary branches from this lifeform, the probes appear to have focused on retention of videos pertaining to a particular evolutionary line. This is the primary reason that the videos are speculated to have been a record of the ancestry of the Overseers, since the progression of organisms does match somewhat with speculation of Overseers biologists as to the origin of their species.
The first evolutionary offshoot obtained some offensive measures, and quickly started displaying violent and territorial behaviour in terms of protecting its food supply. Perhaps as a result of these tendencies, the organism gained the ability to digest animal as well as plant proteins. Although it retained a fairly strong preference for plant matter, this flexibility in its environment had the effect of greatly accelerating the creature's development. Few other creatures had this ability, gaining it a key survival advantage for the first time. This particular evolutionary branch was extremely successful and spawned a great many offshoots.
The particular one focused on in the recovered videos focused on mobility while other creatures in its environment were developing more elaborate offensive mechanisms. This allowed it to reach collections of plant matter before other organisms and strip it bare before they could bring their superior offensive capabilities to bear.
A fourth and final evolutionary branch depicted in the recovered videos gave it the ability to poison the surrounding water and gain a complete stranglehold on the herbivorous food supply in waters. However, this ended up being something of a Pyhrric victory. This same capability rapidly made the water uninhabitable for many plant species. Only the amphibious descendants of this evolutionary lineage survive to this day.
Omigosh, this is soo coool! I loves it! It's all very fascinating to have the beginnings of life recorded! And not to mention playable!
(also your graphics card is amazing.. I CAN SEE GIANT CELL CREATURES!)
Caution! This Troper contains high levels of Moe. Please consult your doctor before hugging.