Oria
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The universe can be an empty place.

For millions of years, I've been drifting in space as nothing but an assortment of nebulae enlightening the void. I've come to realize this place as home as life goes on.

My time here has felt so short, and yet, it feels like it lasts forever. Every so often, I feel fragments of myself drifting away as the frigid, solar winds push me into the darkness. I shouldn't worry, my consciousness will live on, but this form won't.

However, I've experienced many things in this form. I've seen unusual objects that others haven't: a collective of small raptors, a floating lobster, and even a bull god. They're unable to communicate correctly, but they managed to give me a word that defined who I am.

Oria.

It's an interesting name. My collective consciousness says it means "the keeper of light" and it means that in a literal sense.

My father had a similar name, his being Orion. From one of his stars, he gave birth to me as his successor. He told me he once was a hunter and was placed here. After my mother's physical form decayed, he predicted that she would be here, although it seems like that isn't the case.

I'm very unsure about my father's whereabouts and I have little hope that my mother is out there. I'm assuming the last pieces of him are drifting about since he hasn't come back. All that's left in his place is me and the stars as I think silently.

My father once said to me that time is relative. Everything experiences time, but the effects differ with every sentient being. Time is an eternity to me. I'll live as long as the universe and see it fade away, but I hope to experience something new in the future.

Till then, I sit in the darkness, waiting and hoping for my parents to return.














































































ping

I hear something from the darkness: a soft beating. It sounds like a newborn star, which isn't new. So, I sit and wait again.














































































ping

The sound echoes again, but it doesn't sound the same. There's a uniqueness to it.


















Have I heard this sound before?











































ping

It comes back once more, but I feel it throughout my body like a pulse. I'm curious.



































pingping

It keeps repeating itself, like a heartbeat. It begins to get faster over time.





























ping, ping, ping

It pulsates a strong force like it's pulling me. It's not a star, so, could it be my father? I follow the beating as I drift across the tenebrous expanse.

ping, ping, ping, ping, ping

It gradually becomes louder and louder as I soar past gas giants and traveling comets.

I can feel myself slipping away as my speed increases. I become more worried as I fear I won't reach them, but then…










It stops.

I come to a sudden halt as I examine my surroundings. I take some time to recompose and relax before I realize where I am.

Eight planets, a dwarf planet, an asteroid belt, and a sun.

I remember father telling stories about these things. My hopes ran higher as I moved around and watched the planets rotate. He could be here, I thought to myself. I listen closely.





PING.

I stare down as I find out where it came from. A fascinating location for it to originate.

He called this planet "Earth", the place where his old body withered away.

My hopes to find my parents got sucked away. A trick, I thought, I'm such an idiot. Then, I had an idea: if he couldn't find my mother, then something from this planet can help me find both of them.

And so, I removed a fragment of myself and sent it to Earth. I left the system as I transferred my consciousness into the fragment, taking on a new form I didn't expect.

A human.

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