IX - Of Prometheus and People

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It takes a few months to come to terms with the sheer strength of power at my disposal. It courses through my blood and makes every muscle sing with vacillating sensations; a simultaneous chorus of vitality and fatigue.

No longer limited to just tragedy, I hone my skills with the more delicate wisps of energy that have always eluded my touch: love, art, beauty, wisdom. These gentler, more complicated sensations tickle me like the whispering dance of a mosquito on sweaty skin.

I stay in the cave for half a year, sharpening my control, collecting and dominating the magic that bleeds forth from the earth unbound and unbidden. Different bangles appear on my wrists and ankles as I claim ownership over the plant's gifts. Hammered, blackened iron for fire; a waving grass filigrees in brass for the elements and seasons. A delicate, sparkling braid of blue glass for oceans and tides; smoky quartz for the hunt. The sound of them jangling on my limbs keeps me company; a bright, musical accompaniment that orchestrates my lonely days.

There are powers I don't bind, the ones I hope to keep from this world.

War. I can't control human emotion and ambition and I will never be able to. There will always be disputes and disagreements, lies and betrayals, the haves and the have-nots; but I amplify the tools mortals need to resolve conflict and maintain an overall sense of general peacefulness. I'm not a saint, nor am I foolhardy enough to think I could establish a utopia.

Love. I'm too cowardly to bind that bright, sparkling pink energy. For one, I'd prefer to be in love when I did so, and I don't believe the god-mortal power dynamic is one I am interested in perusing. The person would have to be well worth it, and I don't think there's anyone on the planet I'm even remotely attracted to. I've memorized every face, analyzed every bloodline and I don't feel any sparks. I'm fine to abstain while these humans are still rutting around in the mud, trying to scratch out the uninspiring existence of hunter-gatherers. I'm a gold digger, ok? I have standards.

Death. The silken, golden comfort feels too personal, too owned to claim as my own. Lingering affection and respect for Hades causes me to hesitate and keeps me from shackling such a complex, delicate power to one as inferior as myself.

After a long while, I become comfortable with my abilities and start to seek out a location for my first appearance to the mortals. After careful thought, I know what my first task must be, what is required to kickstart humanity and propel it forward — setting into motion whatever destiny awaits me here.

Numbers will work in my favor, so I locate the largest village and observe the humans that live there. For a week I watch as they come and go out of their huts, crude lean-tos made of sticks, mud, and leaves. They fashion basic tools out of slate and rock, sharp arrowheads, and rudimentary knives. The village's population is made up of one hundred adults and twenty children. They wear simple tunics made out of hides or skirts woven from flat, wide, palm fronds.

It's a coastal village, happily situated between a blue, sparkling ocean and a vast, intimidating desert. They eat raw fish and monstrously large desert foxes — also raw. The blood coats their faces and hands with a glistening stickiness. At night, they lay on the beach and tell each other stories written in the stars, pointing out people and objects in the constellations.

Men and women exist equally. They both hunt, care for children and share the workload of the community with no discriminating factors such as strength or height or intimidation perceptible. It's a detail that pleases me and that I will need to be careful of maintaining. The last thing I want is a power imbalance between the genders like Earth's — that would be a failure in my book.

Overall they seem happy, carefree, and content. A ripple of worry and trepidation that I am about to ruin everything by meddling sours my stomach and makes me dry heave with worry. Acidic panic coats my tongue and numbs my fingers with a brutal tingle.

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