The Entity left the shattered remains of a planet behind it in countless worlds. It had chosen a new world, inhabited by a bipedal species. The bipeds had a number of unusual characteristics which the Entity wished to examine. They were symbiotic with photosynthetic prokaryotes, allowing them to survive entirely on water; an albino minority lacked the symbiotes. Their biology was unusually homogeneous and modular, which doubtless assisted their regeneration, fusion, and elastic capabilities, but did not fully explain them. They reproduced asexually, with fusion allowing gene transfer; their young grow remarkably quickly as well. The species could also transmit and detect forms of energy few species could, allowing them to communicate without alerting others. There was a wide variety of information to be gleaned from them; the Entity began planning a slow cycle, approximately two thousand five hundred revolutions of the planet around its suns.

While examining versions of this world, the Entity came across one where the population had nearly been exterminated by a great climate change, its albino minority exterminated and the remainder of the bipedal race reduced to a mere handful. The Entity briefly investigated the future of that world, deciding whether or not to send shards to those few survivors and investigate how they dealt with near-extinction; it was surprised to learn that within less than one thousand five hundred revolutions of the planet, it would be destroyed. The Entity devoted more energy to examining the situation, and discovered creatures of species alien to the planet invaded before its destruction. The Entity found two of the races particularly interesting.

One was represented by one individual, seemingly a leader, of a species with nearly unlimited metamorphic capabilities and adaptations allowing it to function in vacuum. The other had three members present; it had metamorphic capabilities as well (though more limited), as well as a natural ability to become stronger when healing wounds. The Entity noted a time when the member of the former species and one member of the latter would undergo events allowing efficient symbiosis with a shard, and discovered that both would survive the destruction of the planet; it sent two shards, one to each individual. The Entity then searched for potential hosts among the dominant species on the planet earlier in its history, sending three additional shards.

Content with its preparations for that universe, the Entity continued examining versions of the world in other universes. It cast off countless shards, decreasing in size by ten-thousandfold. The shards drifted through five dimensions, dormant, waiting to find their predestined hosts.

Despair. The primary stressor is the loss of an individual close to the host. Secondary stressors include concern for additional such individuals and fear of the individual responsible for their deaths.

Host enjoys combat and craves physical power. Enjoys honorable combative challenges, does not care for death. Simple, single-minded. Non-pragmatic, stubborn, reckless. Proud, fearless. Mild phobia of medical equipment. Lacks subtlety. Kind, particularly to individuals close to the host. Bipolar; usually untroubled and jovial, but can become violent and cruel when sufficiently stressed. Rejects kin, aloof from society.

Host is suffering from significant though not life-threatening damage. Numerous bruises and abrasions. Seven minor skeletal fractures, two major. Internal bleeding. Exhaustion. Metamorphic organ severed. Injuries deemed unacceptable.

Additional shard detected.

Responses: Information exchanged. Damage repaired. Metamorphic organ regenerated. Schemata extracted. Resilience determined. Limits formulated. Connection created. Psyche adapted.

Entering reactionary phase.

Terror. The primary stressor is fear of an unstoppable opponent. Secondary stressors include realization of deep phobia.

Host takes great joy in destruction and death. Enjoys causing pain, both physical and emotional. Disdainful of other beings, proud, selfish. Leader, desires perfection from subjects. Easily bored. Easily terrified by beings capable of harming host, possesses difficulty distinguishing probability. Pragmatic but irrational when stressed; otherwise, logical, indolent, and efficient. Reckless.

Host is suffering from minor damage. Numerous bruises, some abrasions. One photosensitive organ damaged. Secondary appendage partially severed. Injuries deemed acceptable.

Additional shard detected. Exchanging information.

Responses: Information exchanged. Schemata extracted. Resilience determined. Limits formulated. Connection created. Psyche adapted.

Entering reactionary phase.