Gray awoke to what seemed like an endless void.
Violet eyes strained to focus as they fluttered open. Their vision blurred and hazy, as if they had just woken from a deep sleep; though Gray did not remember ever resting beforehand. In fact, Gray did not recall anything before this moment. A hand reached out in front of them and grasped at the swirling darkness that blotted out the world. The hand was slender and delicate, and appeared to be attached to Gray.
Was this their hand? What was going on? Where were they?
These thoughts began to race through their mind before something unexpected happened. Someone answered.
"This is your new body..." Its voice hissed from all around, as if the void itself was speaking.
"This is the first moments of your birth..." Another voice replied; just as harsh and distorted as the first. Its words piercing straight into Gray's soul.
"You are currently in your own heart," replied a third voice.
"Your soul..." Came a fourth.
"Your essence..." and then a fifth.
Each sentence tore at Gray's mind; like the owners were plucking at their mind with each syllable. The disembodied speakers did not relent, and slowly grew in number till a cacophony of thousands drowned out even the beat of Gray's heart.
"Enough!" A cry of anguish dispelled the mental bombardment. Gray had curled into a fetal position, their breath coming in shallow gasps. "Who are you? What are you?" An eerie silence answered back, which lead Gray's strained mind to an even more profound question. "Who am I?"
A pinprick of light pierced the inky blackness. Gray gazed at its burning white light as it grew to fill their entire field of view. A new voice filled their ears, and felt as if it resonated with every cell in their body.
"You... are Gray. You are whoever you choose to be."
Gray's conscious slowly faded as those words echoed in their head. The light enveloped their entire figure, before finally Gray slipped out of the confines of this prison in their mind. And that's when Gray Ignis Asteri was born into this world.