To my knowledge, I do not have a name, but it's entirely possible that, in the many lifetimes I've lived, I've just forgotten. I know that mankind had many different names for me, but of course, my story starts long before the humans did, long before anything did.
My earliest memory in of the star. Just the one star. I'm sure now that there were others besides the one I knew, but at the time, that one star could have been all that existed, all that mattered in the whole universe. But back then I suppose I didn't have a whole lot of perspective back then.
I was always aware, even back then. Being a sentient mass of star dust was...peaceful. No worries, no cares, nothing in the world that could possibly bother or upset me. I had no need to eat or sleep. All I had to do was be, and I was for so many thousands of years.
And then I exploded.
It was inevitable I suppose, no star stays burning forever. But I didn't know that back then, and I was upset, angry, and afraid of what was about to happen. Because I didn't know what was about to happen, and for the first time since I became aware of the world around me, I actually needed to know what was going to happen next, wanted to.
It's hard to recall actual movement from that time, after the star I resided in became no more. I remember the emotion though. It was nothing but panic, pure, visceral, panic. Things went cold, a sensation I had never had before, and then went hot again. It went back and forth between the two so often and so fast I had to make myself forget the difference between the two.
And then, finally, mercifully, things slowed down. They were hot again, magmic, but not like the star had been. It was much colder than the star, but it was still hot, and I was able to relax into the world that had been created.
Things remained like that for quite awhile, calm and warm, but things changed again soon, as they always would I suppose. Things became solid, fluid surrounded me, and suddenly the world was a different one yet again. I didn't know at the time that my perception of time was much different to others, and as such, I saw and felt this, from the formation of the planet in molten form to the liquid water surrounding me, as little more than most would see as a matter of hours
I settled into this burning broth that seemed to be enveloping the rocky mass of the planet. I moved through it, remembering what it had been like to move through the star I had been formed in. it was pleasant, it was fun. And again, I was calm.
Some time passed in this primordial ocean, and before I was even aware of the situation, I wasn't the only thing in the ocean any more. There were other beings there, all small, as I was. I hadn't even known I had had a body, had no concept of such a thing until now. I tried to communicate with the other organisms, but it quickly became apparent to me that they were not as I was.
The other organisms around me were simple; mindless. They had no thoughts, nothing in their minds but instinct, even that they had little of. None of them were aware of the world, nor of anything beyond their own bodies as they drifted through the ooze of the ocean.
I'll admit, I didn't mind this. So long as they were simple and calm, it meant I could be calm as well. Much later I would learn of the phrase, 'ignorance is bliss', and I would heartily agree with such a sentiment. Though, to be fair, here it was more that their ignorance, was my bliss.
Nevertheless, we continued like that for some time. I foolishly believed that all the changes would stop now, that I would be allowed to enjoy the world as it was now without further interruption. The world wasn't as heavenly a world as it had been in the star, but it was a decent world to reside in, I could make do.
But no such luck. One day, as we were all drifting through the water, the other organisms started to move faster. They began to multiply and spread, all in something of a panic, all trying so desperately to become more than what they were and to do so quickly, before all the others.
I was confused by this movement. I wasn't sure what to make of it or how to respond to it, and I wasn't able to think quickly enough to avoid what came next. A new creature emerged from the swirling mass that the water had become. It was still small in the grand scheme of things, microscopic in fact, but it was a giant as far as I and the other organisms were concerned.
More frighteningly, it started to feed. It fed on the organisms around it. Most were too slow at understanding to recognize what was happening. In truth, I wasn't truly sure what was happening either, but I knew it wasn't good, and so I tried to escape it. I was attacked, hurt, and though I was not eaten like the others, I died.
Dying was not a pleasant sensation. It was a sudden coldness and darkness that cut into the core of my very being, gripped me by the soul, wrapped around it and squeezed, tried to make it break and leave the world of the living for good.
But oddly, it didn't break. It remained, and I returned to the world, a new body much like my previous having formed in place of my old one. This was strange, more so than the other things I had experienced so far, but I decided not to waste this new opportunity.
I started to move like the other organisms, my form changing as I moved and multiplied. Soon, my body had changed. It was different from the creature that killed me, but still strong I thought, and so I continued on.
For a time, that's what life was for me. Move, change, adapt to the world around me. Once or twice I died again, but I returned from it every time, sometimes returning even stronger than I was before. I still avoided it whenever I could, as the feeling of it was...displeasing.
But one day, as I moved through the water, I realized that there were no immediate threats for me to change for, nothing attacking me or running away from me. Without these, I was unsure how I was meant to adapt, and left quite confused by the sea of dead organisms around me.
The presence of the dead was confusing. I didn't yet understand the difference between the way I operated and the way others did, so the fact that these other creatures had not yet returned to life was something I found quite odd. Curiouser still was the topic of what had killed them. I hadn't attacked these creatures, and if there had been some kind of frenzy, then there would be one creature remaining.
But there was none, and the waters were quiet and lifeless except for me. I thought for a moment that perhaps I had in some way killed all these creatures, but I don't believe I could have actually forgotten such a thing, nor did I believe I was capable of doing so to begin with.
With no other way of understanding what had happened, I began to follow the trail of the dead. Perhaps if I did, I would find some clue as to their killer. It was a long, tedious expedition, my first real encounter with the concept of boredom. More than once I considered giving up on the search and returning back to where things were chaotic again.
But what if there was no more chaos at all? What if, wherever I went, things became quiet because of whatever was killing things? That was not an idea I was willing to entertain, so I continued on, keeping my mind busy with thoughts of how to improve my form later on.