Far before the first spores of a foreign xenos race fell upon Tyran…
The Great Devourer was born without ceremony, any recognition of its eventual fate it would play in the shaping of the Milky Way Galaxy thousands of light-years away. It first began to truly think still inside the protective casing of its brood sack surrounded by its siblings, warm and soft and still easy prey for any one of the numerous predators who hunted the area. The species it belonged to was barely a fragment of the local ecosystem, and that was merely one of many locations that existed on the outside of a very large space faring creature, and the young, still underdeveloped Devourer was on the absolute bottom of the natural order.
Like all of its fellow siblings, after reaching as far as it could go in predevelopment it started to tear at the casing, four short and stubby appendages waving about frantically in an attempt to instinctively break open the walls of the sack that held it back from the world. Almost mindlessly, it and twelve other tiny beings started to beat, as one, against the sack that held them fast within. And with the movement of their limbs, and the force they through into their beatings, after a while the protective brood sack gave up trying to resist and tore open.
The Devourer spilled forth, tiny body tumbling outside of a gash in the perforated brood sack to roll upon the surface of the space beast, brain and mind already set to working out the most essential and basic part of its nature, a thought process that it would forever keep as its primary goal in existence – survival. Immediately, it turned its head this way and that, multifaceted eyes picking up every visual detail of the environment around it, every heat presence, and every chemical composition of its immediate surroundings.
Like all of its fellow siblings, the environment was a grim, but ultimately common one for the species of the Devourer – a small clearing, dwarfed by enormous protein 'trees' that stretched straight upwards into the blackness of space; the empty brood sack, now in several torn pieces and scattered in the fast drying juices that had been held within; and towering above the thirteen new beings two, enormous corpses – the partially eaten remains of what had been the parents of the grubs. Death was the first thing the Devourer ever saw, and it would be the first lesson ever imprinted into its mind – Life is Death is Life.
The second thing the Devourer would ever see was the body of its sibling, attempting to squirm away to a nearby tree to feast upon the protein there. Immediately, the Devourer crawled to the distracted sibling, and with weak but suitable mandibles lunged deep into the soft belly. The fluids and blood of the sibling began to flow out, and it started to wriggle erratically from the sudden pain, but the Devourer paid no mind – the first lesson of life was that life was death, and survival was imperative – survival was the death of others, and the life of oneself. And to that end, the nutrients its sibling would provide the Devourer would be a factor, no matter how minute, in keeping it alive. It kept cutting into its sibling, mandibles chewing up the soft insides of the grub and guiding the remains to the rest of its mouth, providing the first meal it would ever have outside the sack. And, as it fed, its siblings began to do the same. Only the strongest would survive, and to survive the weak must be culled.
After a time, the Devourer was alone. Of the thirteen siblings that had emerged outside the sack only a few minutes earlier, now only five remained. The rest had suffered death at the hands of their fellows, and, like all the rest of its surviving siblings, the Devourer began to creep off to parts elsewhere, seeking only survival in whatever form it could. It knew nothing and cared nothing for the future, except but for a dim, barely understood desire to someday spread, and propagate. Its focus was otherwise in the here and now, seeking out its next meal and surviving long enough to grow, and pass on its genetic material to future generations.
In most ways, the Devourer was entirely like the other grubs of its species. Luck, will, and the fate of whatever guided its species were the only factors that would affect whether it lived, died, or managed to pass on its genetic material to another of its species – mostly. For the Devourer had a mutation in its coding, a mutation created entirely by coincidence within its structure that had never existed before. A mutation existed in it, a mutation not entirely uncommon in the grand scheme of things, but one that rarely worked out well for the species that had it and survived.
For unlike any of its kind before, the Devourer was, even if in the beginning on a level so small it was nearly indistinguishable, sapient.