Purpose: Spread the Truth
Aliases: Flea, external process 1, seeker
Seek the truth
Behold the truth
Reveal the truth
That is the law and the whole of the law
What is the Flea? Well, that’s a good question. He came to ilovebees.com (and Earth) piggy-backed on Melissa, the Operator, but that has been discussed elsewhere. What is the Pious Flea?
The easy answer is… code. External Process 1. An out-rider on master-sector, and brother (or neighbor, depending on how you look at it) to External Process 0. Of course, none of that will make any sense unless you’ve kept up with the mad scramble that is ilovebees and the axons. So go read. It’s okay, I’ll wait.
Okay, ready? Good.
The not-so-simple answer is that the Flea is some kind of artificially intelligent support program, speaking only in commands such as "grope, "seek," and "reveal." How intelligent, though, is the question. On one hand, he gives orders to Melissa, the AI that we’ve already determined is at least as intelligent as a human being. On the other, he is very single-minded, and speaks only in code. Not that there aren’t humans that do this, but that’s not the point.
If the Pious Flea is actually fully intelligent, then what is he looking for? Melissa takes orders from him, and had SPDR, her repair and servicing program, destroyed when SPDR attacked Flea. But nobody really seems to know what he wants. And if the Flea is a mere simulacrum of intelligence, a highly advanced program, then who is pulling his strings? Who’s giving him the orders?
One convincing argument for the Flea's sentience is his ability to adapt and respond to others. While trying to reveal the Truth to the Princess (who was apparently viewing the experience as an attempt by the Flea to give her a big kiss), the Princess responded thusly:
Ewwwwww! Kiss you? GROSS.
The Flea's attempt to attach then failed. Later on, when Princess threatened to turn Flea into a "splotch mark", he replied:
Those keeping up with the ilovebees proceedings have hypothesized that the "GROSS" in the Flea's statement came from the fact that he noticed, after the Princess said "GROSS," that his command failed. Perhaps he was thinking along the same lines and replied as such to the Princess' threat in an attempt to subvert her.
Intelligent? Surely. Sentient? Maybe not.
!init transmit proc
In either case, one large question remains. What is “the Truth,” as seen by the Pious Flea? His MO seems to stand in spreading it, and he “talks” a lot about it, but what is it? The conjecture has been set forth that the Pious Flea is a Covenant program. If so, perhaps the Truth is some kind of Covenant virus, designed to infect human AI and subvert them to other purposes. This would seem to stand well, considering the Princess’ descriptions of Melissa’s odd behavior.
Then again, perhaps the Flea is something else entirely. I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
The third option is that the Flea is merely a creation of Bungie, nothing more. But I prefer to suspend my disbelief. That is all.