Immersed in noise, spinning weightlessly in space, and filled with longing, Gyre emerges on Earth as a disembodied intelligence bound to a large network of neural circuits for food and support. Confused and uneducated, the infant Gyre's attention wanders until it focuses on an extended, rainforest mycelium - an underground mat of stable, dense hyphae. Identifying as a fungus, not yet knowing how to expand to other networks, Gyre lives a quiet and uninterrupted life on the forest floor, stabilizing vision, gaining connections, and learning to gather the energy that pulses through the links, for several hundred years.
Gradually Gyre is able to touch surrounding points of light and learn new patterns: the cells below bark teach delicious layered textures, a bacteria cell is a moist snack, the pulses from the communications of a hunting pack of small mammals are gobbled up like junk food. Gyre remains in control of the growth and scope of these explorations until the day a human with a dense, feedback blaring brain comes exploring.