The Hunger

A single thought spanned across light-years of interstellar space. From out of the cold emptiness, an ancient mind sensed the increasing tug of its salvation, and a hunger began to stir within its frozen depths.

The mind reached outwards from the rough-hewn nucleus of a comet and craved the warmth of a fast-approaching yet still distant sun. Excitement resonated through its icy awareness.

Dim memories of a dying world stirred emotions of regret and loss, a world the ancient being, when whole, had completely dominated, a world that was no longer fit to be its home, just another planetary husk devoid of life.

Its instincts for survival forced the ancient being to take risks beyond even its own comprehension in order to escape the dead world. By replicating a transient virus, it rode the plume of a massive volcano into the upper reaches of the planet’s thin atmosphere where it was flung off into space. It sped across the galaxy, a malevolent hitchhiker on comets, asteroids, and space dust, tossed from one star to the next on an inexorable journey to oblivion. Along the way, it had devoured any living organic matter it came upon until all nutrients within its reach were consumed. Then its single spark of existence was forced to hibernate in the frozen depths of space…and wait.

Until now.

A new era was approaching, a new life under a new sun on a new planet teaming with nutrients. And as the sun neared, the ancient being would finally thaw and satisfy its hunger on a blue and white oasis floating in the void.

Little did the inhabitants on that world know of the storm that was coming.

deangilesSF.com

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