Atlas always noticed things. Noticed the earth move, the tides change, the fire dance. It felt like the very atoms around him were tracing his skin.
He used to notice shapes too. Things that didn't fit in the dark. He used to see them. He drew them. If it weren't for his mother, he'd have been in life long therapy for it.
But he didn't need therapy because they were real. All the shapes and shadows. All the atoms in the world.
They got him on his way home from school. He knew he wasn't going to make it home again. So, he ran.
He wasn't going to be a danger if they only wanted him. He managed to sneak a bit of stuff out of small stores. Managed to swop some trinkets for a lighter. One always needed fire. And it always felt safer with fire.
He hopped from one abandoned corner to the next. Until he hopped wrong. Until he ended up in the alleyway of the lotus hotel and they didn't chase him away. Instead, they invited him in. And kept him in.
He was given a shower, new clothes and an unlimited card. He was allowed to eat and play. And then time passed. And then some more.
The day he came to was the day a boy pushed him out of the way by accident and the lotus flower fell out of his hand. Something in him told him not to take another.
At least he had enough cunning not to let anything show. They were only concerned for a second. And then he was out. Unlimited card still in his back pocket.
He got a sturdy bag first. Nylon. Black. Normal looking. A zippo lighter with fluid followed. A sleeping bag, a hunting knife, some jerky and bottled water finished off his little shopping spree.
And then this rabid dog thing attacked and he got his first trophy. A tooth of a low level hellhound. As more of these monsters appeared, he got more trophies.
He didn't really know what to do with them, so he got himself an old, small ammo tin that they used in the war. Each one ended up carefully labelled and stored inside.
At least he was never bored. His favourites to kill were the dogs and the spider things. Their spindles of thread that they left behind were some of the most intriguing colours.
When he turned 14, he nearly offed a Satyr. He came out of nowhere smelling of leaves and fur. He was taken to camp half blood by him that very day.
The campers tried rifling through Atlas' bags. Hermes boys. He was used to protecting his things though and a few ended up in the infirmary.
Chiron wasn't amused, but he couldnt take it upon himself to care. He was a half-blood. Half god, half man. Lovely. His life expectancy was abysmal.
He did enjoy spending time with the sword smiths. He actually ended up making his own daggers a week in. He was taught to make a leather sheath for it too. Atlas couldn't remember having this much fun for a long time.
Archery was a blast. Sword fighting was fine. He loved climbing and jumping off things. Capture the flag was a lot of fun too. The gauntlet wasn't his taste.
He started making puzzle boxes for the other kids. If you got certain moves wrong, you got shocked a little, other times, you got your finger tips numbed.
They also seemed to enjoy his artistry in his pocket knives. It calmed him as he made intricate gears work and luminous liquids move about in them.
He sold the puzzle boxes for a drachma each. Sold the knives for 5. Soon, he was 100 drachma richer.
The bracelets happened a year later. Put one of the fighter bracelets on and you had a shield at the ready when you needed it. Put a traveller's bracelet on and you had a few storage spaces.
The nice thing about being a demigod was that you had access to magic. Not a lot, but some. Enough. Atlas made more intricate weapons too and hid them onto an arm plate.
There were 3 lines of runes, 4 runes per line, on the forearm. Each rune held a weapon. The bracelet plate could also be linked until your entire forearm was covered. It could store poisons, antidotes, extras.
Those, he ended up making bank on. The healers and soldiers alike wanted them. And Aphrodite's kids always needed fashionable makeup space.
Drachma was no use to him in the outside world, but he still had his lotus card. It never expired. But just the feel of the drachma. The knowledge that each one was different. It was dependent on the god who gave it to you what face was on the coin.
Atlas' wrist plate was double. No more was needed. The top row had his best weapons. The second row, his poisons. The third row had his books. One always needed books.
He got the athena kids to work with him on creating a set of books. It took them all year and a bit. They used greek, of course. Their dyslexia not allowing for english.
The first 3 books held every monster in existence that they could track stories of, descriptions of them, strengths and weaknesses.
The second 3 held every titan and third 3 every god's stories, description, strengths and whatever they could perceive as weaknesses.
The fourth 3 held their favourite stories. Not the old, winding, classics; the interesting ones. The short stories that kept them moving. Kept them sane.
The second plate of the duo held all his earthly possessions. His sleeping bag, his tin of trinkets, his box of lighters and fluid, his box of survival foods, bottled water, drachma, normal wallet with his lotus card, some clothes and toiletries, and 2 pocket books of maps. One of human places and the other of their world that he could bribe out of the other campers who have gone on missions before.
His other wrist held his shield bracelet.
Atlas was finally sent on a mission when he turned 18. By that time, he was already claimed as one of Hephaestus' kids. At 15, he accidentally got so upset at one of the Ares campers that he torched their entire 'art' project and the surrounding brush.
Needless to say, he was excited to get out of camp. It had gotten boring a while ago.
He was sent to retrieve one of Apollo's harps that was misplaced. It wasn't all that difficult to find. Godly items tended to attract monsters. Monsters were easy to track. It was an easy 2 days. More useless trinkets.
Meeting Hermes was like meeting an accountant boss. Very boring. Very pedantic. The harp went back to Apollo without a hitch.
Then a boy named Percy showed up to camp. A son of Poseidon. And Atlas' life suddenly became a whole lot more interesting.
He went with Percy, Grover and Annabeth to all kids of places. Watched Percy be an idiot cutting off a Hydra's head to a thinker by cutting off Medusa's.
Hell was fun. Hades was more fun. You can't really blame a bloke for flirting with the god of hell, can you? The hounds remembered him.
Zeus... was a dick. 0/10 didn't like. Poseidon was sort of cute though. The bolt was, of course, returned. Dumbasses.
Needless to say, with Percy and the group at the helm, his life was never banal and safe again. What else could a guy want?
When Atlas turned 20, to celebrate, he opened up a room. All demigods could enter, but none could take a single artifact out of the room.
There was a wall for all the trinkets with descriptions. There was a wall to display his best weapons he created. There was a wall for the set of books they made, and later added on to. There was a blank wall and right in the middle of the room, there was a circular couch.
It was designed for people to research in, to find knowledge in, to relax in.
It was all concealed as an orb. One where, if a demigod held it, he could shift into. No monster or human could locate them or could see the orb for what it was.
It was his crowning achievement, put on it's own little pedestal in chiron's office. It wouldn't stay there long. In the end, the orb (and himself) travelled the world and then some.
Unlike the orb though, he found his rest soon after.