VIII - The Birth of God

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I travel back and forth between Olympus and the new world daily for three months. I watch from a distance, surveying the speck of light in a vast ocean of space; it's so small, so new. I hover behind the moon and get a taste of what I will meet below; a gangly, uncivilized, newborn planet.

The agonizing experience of shedding and stepping back into my skin becomes easier the more I do it, the bonds of muscle and sinew weakening as I step in and out, day after day. While I could travel to my baby planet in my body, it is much easier to get through the galactic barriers if I am vaporous. Plus, it's much simpler to resist the tug I feel behind my disembodied navel, a tether to the new globe that begs me to plant my feet in its soil.

I can't do that, I can't touch the surface until I'm absolutely ready.

What I am preparing for I am not entirely sure. In most ways, I'm as ill-prepared as I was when given the prophecy. I will have no taste for the powers down there, or a true sense of the world until I'm there and yet quietly, as I swirl around the water-logged rock, I start to put a plan into place.

I establish ground rules for when I want to interfere in human development and why; boundaries that will protect them from me and vice versa. 

I firmly decide against establishing a traditional religion, the very notion of it is disgusting and predatory on my tongue. 

Telling no one of my visits, I start to seclude myself on Olympus, hiding myself and my objectives from my relatives. Despite my heritage, the gods do manage to pop in and out of my orbit long enough to ask how things are going and stare at me with excited, wonder-filled expressions like children in a candy store. They still think I am doing this for them, for their own glory.

Idiots.

Even though it feels like a betrayal of some degree, I hide my intentions from even Hades, Ares, and Aphrodite. They too wear their hunger for more powers openly. The want of new dominion crawls over their skin like maggots on a corpse. It's not their fault, I don't blame them for their natural tendencies. Even I feel the weariness of delay, the prophecy fitful and impatient to begin.

Finally, one night when Olympus is softly sleeping and there is no disturbance but the gentle tickle of Demeter's snores, I make my escape. I unwind myself from Hades' clinging snuggle, sparing a lingering, last look at my friend's peaceful face. I memorize the lines and planes, savoring the image of him, storing it near to my heart.

For the first time, I travel in my body through space. I've done it often enough that it feels like a well-practiced dance; zig here, zag there. The barriers of the Milky Way and of Andromeda let me through like an old friend.

I debate for an eternity — roughly three minutes — the risks and rewards of making a dramatic appearance on the planet's surface. Too late, I realize that none of my rules mapped out how and when and why I'd reveal myself to the mortals.

I split the difference between pomp and stealth and decide to send myself down to the planet's surface in a comet that will circle the globe with a blazing arc of fire.

Classic move, using a comet. A little showy, perhaps, but I am a god. The added benefit is that ancient peoples are notoriously petrified and mystified of comets. I take a minute to taste the air, confirming my suspicions; they haven't even seen so much as a shooting star. 

With a gulp, I close my eyes and explode myself into a giant ball of burning gas and hot wind. I'm momentarily stunned that I'm able to produce fire in such great quantities, at blazing speed, and so effortlessly. 

Hephaestus. I feel him cheerful and jolly, bubbling in my blood, but it's different. It's not his power here. There is no mellow, moldy softness of borrowed books. 

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