What the octopuses did, eventually, was to leave. They left ten days after Edrig's return. Days in which the male superior beings of the tower had rather automatically tried to go about their duties as normal, or as normal as they could manage with a cohort of potentially dangerous octopuses in charge. But then came the morning when they gradually realised that the octopuses had all gone. They had noticed a reduction in numbers over the previous few days, but this particular morning it became apparent that there were no octopuses to be seen, anywhere. They had, it was presumed, transmitted what they wanted and gone.
There were six hundred and twenty seven male superior beings working in the tower, which was the sole workplace and living space on the remote planetary outpost on which most of them had lived out almost all of their lives. They rarely travelled out of sight of the tower, other than to other worlds, of course, for when they did venture into the flat landscape around them everywhere was pretty much the same as everywhere else, so there was no reason to wander far from the tower. The Ladies and their Lady Lord had always been in charge. The children that the men sired were kept largely isolated on the lower floors until ready to work, and life just proceeded according to a regular routine that everyone simply got used to. They were comfortable. They had entertainment piped in. They could enjoy the outdoor balconies or the outdoor grounds nearby the tower. They were well fed, and something about their genetics made them tolerate their long lives without too much complaint but without much excitement either.
So on this particular morning there were six hundred and twenty seven rather puzzled and confused male superior beings wandering around the tower and slowly realising that the octopuses were all gone, and that the octopuses had rather helpfully locked their four Lady servants in with all the other Ladies, on Floor 37.
What to do?
They did what seemed instinctively appropriate to them. They called a meeting, and the first item on the agenda of the meeting was the question of what to do about the Ladies. The still imprisoned Ladies.
'The obvious thing is to unlock the doors and let them out,' declared Bigrig, who was the oldest of the men at an impressive two thousand and twenty seven years.
He stood rather awkwardly at the front of the meeting hall, leaning against a table, as he was no longer used to standing very much at all. He was tall, thin, wrinkly, completely bald and dressed in his golden robe.
'But,' Bigrig continued, 'Life has been rather good without them, hasn't it?'
'Apart from the smell,' came a voice from the crowd.
'That's true, or it was initially. Lately I think we have barely noticed it, and anyway now with the octopuses gone their smell will soon go too.'
'But they will surely soon learn at headquarters that the octopuses have gone?'
'Only if we let them,' came Adrig's voice, then he continued with, 'I have a plan to suggest.'
'Oh no,' said Edrig quietly beside him, as Adrig stood up and continued to speak.
'Ever since the invasion the only way they have been able to monitor us has been through the central camera in the Lady Lord's quarters. The one the octopuses missed. Correct?'
'That is correct,' Bigrig agreed.
'And it only operates intermittently given the current phase of the orbit. Correct?'
'Yes, at the moment.'
'And it is rather low resolution.'
'And they seem sufficiently disinterested in our fate, or perhaps sufficiently worried about the octopuses, that they show no interest in rescuing us from them. Correct?'
'That would seem to be correct.'
'So,' continued Adrig, 'would it be beyond the powers of our technical section to create a convincing moving model of the big octopusy Lady Lord?'
'Oh my goodness,' muttered Edrig.
'Hmm,' said Bigrig, as a wave of muffled muttering spread across the room.
'And...' continued Adrig, 'I know of a rather nice and interesting place that we could all take trips to where we could enjoy many fine things, if provided with the fake credit cards that I know from experience are so easily manufactured.'
'Oh? Where?' asked Bigrig.
'Sample 717,' said Adrig. 'They call it Planet Earth.'
'Oh,' said Edrig.