Silence reigned supreme. The vast universe sparkled with distant, glimmering lights in a limitless darkness.
Roaming, blind and without conscious motivation, a spark of life, complete within, yet still incomplete, swam between planetary systems and senseless debris. Hunger drew her. Though small, her devouring appetite compelled action. A planetoid, ripe for the picking, lay in her path. She slowed and nibbled, then stopped and chomped.
The planetoid knew nothing until sudden weakness made it faint—all unique life ebbing away—passing into the unnamed feeding system and universal darkness.
As she fed, another presence drew near. Huge and like herself, but different, hungrier. She drifted aside.
It shifted close, but it did not eat. It hungered in another way, seeking release and relief. It advanced slowly—and then pounced.
In mad, chaotic action, all food was forgotten. The two became—almost—one. Something minuscule passed from the one to the other.
Released, her being thrummed with a new impulse. She returned to her planetoid, hungrier than before. Ravenous.
The other retreated and slipped into the outer darkness.
Eons rippled across the universe—touching, caressing, and raging.
She grew, and her hunger grew with her, but all strength waned. Slower, she passed by dead rocks, veering from distant, burning lights, seeking solitude to feed in quiet. Awareness of a struggle deep within sent her into utter blackness. Hunger no longer urged her forward. A new pulsing power directed her.
A sudden, urgent, compelling demand thrummed from within, a pulsating push that could not be denied. From her inner self, a being slipped forth.
New and like her, but not her, it wiggled in frantic need. She sensed its hunger. Yet it was not her hunger. With a guiding nudge, she directed it toward a lush planet, ripe for the picking.
Stilled by a magnetic sense, it turned toward the gem glowing amongst the vast darkness. Straight and true, it drew near.
The planet sensed no danger, but the beings enveloped in its warm, nurturing embrace saw the looming shadow slide between them their light. Shape shifters with distant relatives living in the black expanse, they tried to understand. Was this one of them? A visitor? A friend?
She watched as her little one took its first bite, a mere nibble. Satisfied, she turned back to the darkness, her strength all but gone.
The little one knew small satisfaction, only hungry need.
The conscious, living beings called out, naming the shadow Cosmos as if to befriend their doom.
A nibble was not enough.
Eons rippled passed.
Sisters of the lost planet arrived to find only broken bits of rock and no sign of the devourer.
Hunger leaves no trail.