When I was young, what you might call an infant, I lived in the ocean. It was dark and murky, and I only saw Hemera and Nyx from the refraction of the waves. Atlas spent all of his free time on the surface, watching Nyx dance. He’d catch me watching Him, but back then He liked having a younger brother. Atlas was still young himself, someone that was younger than a teenager, but definitely no longer a boy, a tween, I guess. He’d hold me high above the water so I could be closer to Nyx. Atlas said it was okay to go up when Nyx was out because Erebus knew everything we ever did, and there was no point trying to hide from Him. He pointed out the motion of the stars and tried to explain all the ellipticals to me. I was too young to follow it, but I liked hearing him talk about it; he liked mathematics and geometry. Atlas was happiest when he worked on maths.
Father had other plans for Atlas, and made sure He never forgot His military training with Menoetius. They tried to include me, but I was small and slow. Menoetius always called me “runt.” He said I was the weakest Titan, and I may have been. Mother wasn’t really a part of our upbringing. She just made sure Father had everything he asked of Her. I had an entire ocean to explore, but it was never enough for me.
Whereas Atlas was drawn to Nyx, I kept trying to get to know Gaia. She was a Primordial, so I was supposed to fear Her, but She was so beautiful. There was no ocean without Gaia, I understood that. One night, I crawled out of the water. Gaia felt me on her and said nothing. She could’ve devoured me, or split me off from my family and raised me as her own, but She addressed me with kindness. Gaia stroked my cheek, and cut off the part of her that I was apart of. She sent it into the ocean. I followed the rocks down, and watched as they laid on the bottom of the ocean floor.
My parents found out. It could’ve been from Nyx, Erebus, or Gaia herself, but I suspect it was Atlas that told Iapetus. After my crime, he stopped talking to me except when he needed to. Iapetus yelled at Clymene, blaming her for me escaping the safety of Grandma Oceanus. Father made Menoetius watch me, making sure that I never rose above a certain point in the water. I was forbidden to even look at Hemera or Nyx, that was the extent of Father’s caution. He was still preparing us for the First War, and if I couldn’t help, I was to be put out of the way. At some point, Father start building a cage for me, but Mother talked him out of it.
Down at the depths of the ocean, I was lonely and bored. Eventually Epimetheus entered the picture, and my little brother was used to check on me. Menoetius would promise Him trips to the surface if He told brother when I tried to go too high up. He did. He took every opportunity to tattle on me, even lying to get special treatment. When he wasn’t tattling on me and taunting me, he just followed me around, asking me all manner of questions. I admit that I let my bitterness get the best of me, and I taught him falsehoods in the name of comedy. All of my earliest pranks were practiced on Him.
We were swimming in the depths of the ocean, trying to find a place deeper than any other, when I found a light. The light was so brilliant. Most of the time I saw Hemera shimmering through the waves, but this was a pure light, unobstructed. Neither Epimetheus nor I could believe it was real, so we swam to the light. It made the water warm and turned it to air. It was a great wound on the belly of Gaia, pouring out her life’s blood.
I got closer, swimming to the edge of the hole to look into Gaia. She was the mother of all Titans, but we feared her more than we loved her. I wanted to know more about her, to know who she was inside. Epimetheus pulled at my foot. He asked me to stop and when I ignored him, He threatened to tell Iapetus. Father wouldn’t be as kind as Menoetius. He wouldn’t stop at a beating for disobeying, he might just finish that cage. I was older, like a teenager, young and tired of my place in life, so I pulled my foot free and swam closer. Epimetheus didn’t swim away, he watched me.
The water was hotter than I’d ever felt, and it turned my skin red. I held onto the rocks of the seafloor and stared into the great light of Gaia. It was more than a hole, it was a pillar of rock and magma. Ever since Gaia touched me, I’d been filled with a light inside. I hadn’t understood what it was, or why it was there, but when I saw that burning formation, I knew it was something great. I covered my hands in the dirt of the ocean and swam to it, rubbing my hands on the great spire. It wasn’t a wound spilling out Gaia’s blood, but a nipple of life. The heat and gasses poured out into the water and suddenly, there was something so small it couldn’t be seen at all. Yet I knew it was there, and when I looked to Epimetheus, he shared my enthusiasm.
I’d created life.
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