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POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

In.

Flash me!

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POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

I cop to this being rushed, as I was irresponsible about choosing to sign up before children's cartoon convention weekend. I figure it doesn't get much more archetypal than the Greeks, though.

Fire-Bringer
1194 words

The thief turned his eyestalks towards the star of Iapetus prime, though this far down inside the planet's bowels the sun couldn't be seen. Before he could gird himself, his pedipalps trembled. Ettai noticed, extending an amomum scent of concern. The thief released a sulphurous confidence he did not feel. The ten month symposium on the energy crisis had ended in a sharp divide--those who favored the plan the thief had proposed, and those who wisely feared delving into the realm of the gods.

Now, the thief realized that neither the acclaim nor the approbation would matter. The eagle had arrived at Iapetus. He thought he had more time. He needed more time, but the mortals around him couldn't provide it. They were only afforded one small mercy: there was no time for them to feel pain when the atmosphere ignited. The twinkling constellation of uncountable lives was swallowed as Iapetus went supernova.

He gathered the increasingly tattered fabric of his self and slipped into a gap in the warp and weft. He had liked that body. Even here he could see the glimmer of the bleeding tear the eagle had left in the fabric of the real. The fraying threads spelled out the terms of his punishment. He understood: the lives of mortals provided no protection to the betrayer, not when the god king had already destroyed five races of man--now six. The thief had fooled himself as he had always done. His time was up.

The eagle's scream reached him even in the void, a fitting stand-in for those it had just silenced.

"Prometheus!"

They had no hope of slaying an immortal, but even he could be driven from the light, as they had so many of his brothers and sisters, and even as the Titans had done to those who came before. Prometheus loved the Iapetans. He would steal even the pomegranates of hell for them.

If all went well, the Iapetans would return. So would the Ypsilani before them, and the Atlantians, the Cnidii, and... How many suns would die before he had his revenge for age over age of suffering? His shriek sent the lurking non-ens to roiling. He could taste his siblings' rot even this far above cthonic Tartarus. It was a heady incense--the rage built from watching six races die before they could even leave their mark, the rage of watching his siblings be cast down into the primordial dark, the rage of seeing his tormentor so near and doing... Nothing. No, this would not stand. He hurtled towards the bleeding rift, fashioning himself into a fiery, hooked spear.

Now an ordinary bird would have been destroyed by even the spark of a Titan's wrath, but the eagle was born of the divine blacksmith's craft. It shrieked as the incandescent soul pierced it stem to stern. Prometheus anchored himself within the eagle as it tumbled, dropped, looped, soared--he would not be shaken loose so easily. His hook was buried in its meat. Resisting the need to burn her whole took all of his will.

"Fool!" it screeched, "Fool thief! You know you will not escape--you knew it when you damned them! Why carry on?"

"Don't try to play hag with me." He plucked a crescent of cooling star-stuff from the real as the eagle wrenched its head around, attempting to pluck him loose. "Give up--as you advise me to do. You know you cannot tear me free."

She screamed again, shivering the cinders of Iapetus system. A man would have heard nothing here--the jokes were true, no one could hear a scream in space. Well, Prometheus was no man, and he could hear it.

"I'll deal with you. The terms: fly us to one place of our choosing. Then I let you free to do as you wish. Fly straight back to daddy if you like.. Though I know no love's lost between you and your master."

"Why do you persist?" the eagle asked, but its flight straightened. "I can see your end--this time torn to shreds."

"Prophecy, or Zeus's drunken rambling? You have agreed, haven't you? We go to the omphalos." The eagle hissed. "While we fly, I'll tell you a story..."

He sang a dirge of the Iapetans. The eagle was insensate to scent, and they were in inhospitable space, but if he could not spin the tale, no one could. Hephaestus' eagle could not weep, but the telling reopened wounds. Prometheus had suffered age over age of torture, but she had suffered the torturing.

The omphalos to which they flew was not the center of the universe, only a center. The cauldron in which life's admixture boiled, this was where the thief had fired his creation: man. Clay from Sol, fire of creation, and a little heavenly breath to boot were all one needed to create life.

From deep within himself he pulled six other things, strange lumps of dark matter, to go along with the fragment of Iapetus. Here at one of the beginnings of life, he would resurrect what Zeus had destroyed.

Ypsilan: to tell him to surrender. The Ypsilani had been peaceful folk, their most passionate fights taking place in letters to the editor.

Atlantis: to tell him what Olympos thought of his sense of irony.

Cnidaria: to tell him he had gone too far. He had been so close to showing them how to become as gods themselves through the secret of ambrosia.

Cygnus destroyed to prove a point: detonating a sun was something they could do casually.

Lyra destroyed to punish his escape. They perished because he had stopped to mend his broken body on their muddy shores.

He cast these five lumps into the cauldron and felt the universe heave, shudder, writhe with the pain of birthing out of near-nothing that which the gods had sundered.

A peal of thunder rattled the omphalos. The eagle twisted free at last from Prometheus' spear and set a panicked course back to Olympos. Its blood scattered between the stars--divine blood, the good stuff, from Zeus himself. Prometheus did not wait quietly. He grabbed a droplet and wet the last piece of matter. Blood was not ambrosia, but that hardly mattered. The sympathy between a piece of Cronus and the Titan race would have to be enough. But it wasn't--it wasn't enough. The lump remained inert and dark. Prometheus, knowing his failure, closed his eyes. No rescue could come in time now.

Zeus himself had come, hauling his thunderbolts in tow.

"Shall I cut the heavens?" Prometheus said.

Anger-pale, Zeus opened him with one cut, letting immortal blood spill--over Cronus's stone, over the omphalos. Prometheus smiled, sparking a wordless howl of Zeus, and greater violence, until what was left of Prometheus was a million parts, now inextricably mixed with the essence of creation. Zeus's scream blew over the stone, fallen into that star fire.

Below, so far below, uncountable legions awoke and cast their eyes to heaven.

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

I'm in! Despite being terrible at following directions.

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

Way late, but thank you Echo Cian and God Over Djinn for your crits back in March.

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