Sookjoo first meet Epimetheus on the roof of a building, just as she was about to commit suicide. She’d been depressed for a while, what with the expectations of her traditional family, the expectations of her university, and her general alienation from society. Epimetheus, curious about this human, came to see her in her final moments. As she was about to jump, Sookjoo noticed him. “You can’t stop me,” she warned. “I just came to watch,” he replied. “Although, that’s kind of an unfortunate end. Most humans would try to stop you right?” Sookjoo looked at him queerly, not really understanding this man. “You’re odd. One moment you don’t care but the next you do?” “I don’t really care,” then, almost as an afterthought, “I should care though, right? That’s a humanic thing to do. I think. Although, human history has shown humans to be pretty savage and uncaring, so maybe-” “Alright fine, I’ll come down if you will just shut up. You’re giving me a headache.” Sookjoo got down, and went over to the man, her interest peaked. She’d never met anyone so honest, even if he didn’t seem to think through what he was saying. It eased her mind, just having some stranger to talk to.
She invited him to dinner, confusing the both of them. He, because just seconds ago she was going to die, and she, because what the hell was she doing inviting a stranger out to eat. At dinner, Sookjoo realized she enjoyed his honesty and oddity, always seeming to speak before thinking through things. Over the course of a few weeks, she continued meeting him, Epimetheus being the thing keeping her from going over the edge. He never lied to her about who he was, although would after, question if it was such a good idea to tell her. Sookjoo figured Epimetheus must be bluffing about the godly parts of his life.
Their time together couldn’t last, and after a while, he told her she had to go. Sookjoo was hysteric, having a child on the way, living at her university, not having any stable job. Her family would stop supporting her as soon as they knew of the baby. He apologized, stating it may have been better to leave her alone the day they’d met. Then he was gone. At first she was going to end it all, but couldn’t, for the sake of her child.
Sookjoo quit uni, lucky she had already completed her bachelor’s degree. She wrote a letter to her family, who were outraged. She managed to find a well paying job in a small town Clay County Arkansas, and moved. There, baby Simon was born. Being in a very small town, Sookjoo figured their ethnicity would be problematic anyways, so she didn’t want to give hima traditional korean name. Also, it was a last stab at her family.
Growing up, Simon faced much prejudice living in a small town, being extremely different from the other “all american” blue eyed blonde kids. He got picked on for his lack of father, for his mother who was so frail, for his seeming stupidity (he was a bit like his father), and of course, for being korean. Soon, he grew shameful, and started spreading stories of who he and his mother was. First he would talk about how they worked for the government (the government had a new jailing system for bullies, he would say, and that they sent spies to find them.) Other times he’d say his father had been a missionary, killed when trying to save a village from drug lords. The more he lied, the more comfortable he got with it. Simon got beat up less, mostly because kids believed him or enjoyed his lies.
After a while, kids left him more alone, but didn’t hang out with him because they figured he would just lie. He was friendless, besides his mom.
Simon didn’t use to lie to his mom, but being so caught up in his lying game, his false words crept into his speakings with his mom. He’d lie about being popular, or being a scholastic champion. It seemed to make her happy, until she questioned the school on her “superstar” son. She was heartbroken to learn of his averageness, finally losing trust in his word. She didn’t understand why he did it; neither did he.
At around 13, A stranger came. This made waves as it was odd for outsiders to come into town. Being curious, Simon spied on the stranger, not realizing the stranger knew he was spying on him. Following the stranger into an empty street, the stranger finally confronted him. “Why you following me kid?” Simon shrugged. “You’re an outsider.” The stranger looked him up and down. “You seem like an outsider too.” he shrugged again. “I was on a road trip with my family when a guy kidnapped me. he holed me up here, and now he’s hiding me, claiming I’m his adoptive son. You think you can help me get out?” The stranger looked serious for a moment, then laughed. “You know, you almost had me there. What’s your name kid?” “Turner, you?” The stranger introduced himself as Trace. He told Simon (or Turner as he believed) he was traveling, a bit of a hitchhiker if he knew what he meant. Simon did. He drifted, didn’t stay in one place for very long. Simon thought the stranger was pretty cool. I mean, to a kid who had never seen a new person from other places, meeting a traveled guy was rad as heck.
They formed a friendship. Trace taught him a bit about the outside world, and Simon in turn revealed his name was not actually Turner. He felt acceptance, something he hadn’t felt since he was a child. Trace was the first person he didn’t feel so compelled to lie to. Or at least, lie anymore than he already had. He didn’t realize just how close Trace really was.
One night, not many weeks after meeting Trace, while Simon was asleep, a hellhound leapt through his window and attacked him. Simon was confused, scared, and bloody. Luckily, Trace had been in the neighborhood, going to his house to leave Simon’s hat, which he had forgotten at a coffee shop they’d met at. He reached into the backpack he always carried, taking out a celestial bronze sword. Trace attacked and killed the monster. Sookjoo woke up, wondering what the hell was going on. The only explanation was wild dogs. They were seen in town often, but generally the dogs left people alone. Trace repaired the window the next week, and it was like nothing had happened.
Simon had seen the monster, but he managed to twist it into a pack of dogs in his mind. The only real change was, Trace was staying in town. He would no longer drift.
Over the years, monsters attacked Simon frequently. Trace, however, was always around to kill them before they reached Simon. He got to stay oblivious a while longer. At the same time, Trace’s friendship with Simon blossomed. Simon felt like Trace was his brother, ironic given the fact that he was.
When Simon turned 15, Sookjoo finally told him about his father. Before, whenever Simon asked (which was a lot) she would always smile and say he was too young. Now, feeling he was old enough to know, she told him everything. Unlike Simon, Sookjoo was incredibly honest.
Simon felt a roll of emotions. His father was an unwitting hero, at the same time, an unwitting arsehole. After learning his origins, he rushed to tell Trace, the person he trusted the most.
Trace was taken aback by what Simon told him. Then, slowly, he began to reveal some truth. More on who Simon’s father really is, and monsters who had come for him- specifically, the one he saw that night, two years ago. When he finished, he added “The reason I’m telling you this now is… I think, your godly parent is actually a titan.” As if Simon couldn’t be more bewildered. “Huh?” He rushed on. “I think your godly parent is actually titan named Epimetheus…. He..He is my father as well.” Before Simon could run away in confusion, Trace pulled out a sword from his magic backpack. The metal was of a kind Simon had never seen. Trace pulled out some photos of monster he’d taken, in case something like this would happen. More and more, Simon seemed to believe. After all, if he couldn’t trust Trace, who could he?
Convincing his mother he wanted to go off with Trace was tough. Simon left the convincing to Trace, knowing his mother wouldn’t trust his word anyways. Basically, he went over the basics of the truth. Trace was his half brother. “I’ve been away from dad for a while, but, he kind of led me on this long expedition. You know, character building,” Trace said. Sookjoo seemed confused. “What does this have to do with my son?” Trace took a breath. “I think he may have led me here on purpose. To meet Simon.” Simon and Trace looked nothing alike, but the way they were, and acted, you could believe they were brothers. “You look.. a lot like him,” Sookjoo finally said, with a sigh. She understood what he was asking.
“Don’t worry mom, I’ll come back to visit. I’ll just be with dad and Trace for a while,” Simon called as he left. Only half a lie, as Epimetheus was not going on the trip. Trace was going to take him somewhere else.
As they traveled to Trace’s apartment in Washington D.C., Trace told him about his life. How he grew up in an orphanage, and how everyday he wished for his parents, until he received a gift from his father. “It was this backpack.” He wiggled it around. “It holds some weapons magically. No normal pack would be able to hold so much stuff and still feel light. “ He grinned. “I call it, Pandora’s Pack.” Simon pouted a little. “What was ‘’my’’ gift?” Trace grinned wider. “Me it seems, dummy.”
Once they reached the apartment, Trace started training Simon with weapons. They couldn’t go straight away to the new place because it was still being set up, and it would be better to get Simon there with some experience. Trace told him about some other places, competition if you will. One was camp, other some place called broken covenant. Trace had come across both, in his lifetime. “They’re not so bad, taking care of demigods and demititans. It’s just, where we are going, we serve a purpose.” Simon was a little confused. “A purpose?” “Yeah. See, we’ll be helping our dad. We’re gonna shift the power.” He gave a conspiratorial smile. “This world isn’t so great, and dad and others like him are gonna fix that.” Simon couldn’t help but feel he was being pulled into something bigger than him, and he felt good. Important, even.
The two years he spent with Trace were the best of his life. They fought off a bunch of lower level monsters, mainly due to the presence of two demititans. It was good practice. They hung out all the time, and trained like there was no tomorrow. Simon learned that Trace was quite the networker, he knew a lot of people, had seen lots of places. He felt safe with him. Because no one knew Trace, he was free to lie as much as he wanted, even about his identity. At first he did it for safety, but later did it more for the fun of it. It was good, because he never realized how much the lying had affected him psychologically. He couldn’t stop. The one person safe from his games was, of course Trace.
One day, about a week before his 17th birthday, Trace and Simon faced an attack bigger than they ever had before. They’d been driving to the place, now that it was set up. It had finally been time for them to join the new force. While they were driving, a chimera rammed into the car.It fell off the road, rolling once or twice. The two crawled out, bleeding all over. Simon was worse for wear, with a cracked skull and a bent arm. They tried to face off the chimera, with the two swords in Trace’s pack. Finally, Trace managed to kill the chimera, but not before being mortally wounded. A chimera was not an easy monster to fight, let alone injured. Before dying, Trace gave him the directions to the new place. He had a smile on his face. “You’re...a good brother. Make our father proud. Help the world. Do what….I couldn’t do.” He feebly passed Simon the pack. “Here, have this. Where I’m going, I wont needed.” Simon promised he would do right by him and their father. And then he said no more.
Simon thought he would die before keeping that promise. Luckily, a couple had been driving down the road and saw him. They called 911 and had him hospitalized. His lies were important this time. He told him his name was Jared Wayne, and the dead guy was his very young adoptive father, Bruce Turner Wayne. They’d gotten in an accident because a cow had crossed the road and his dad was an animal lover. No one really believed him, it didn’t explain all the wounds. It did give him just enough time to heal enough to sneak out of the hospital and hotwire a car (he remembered the directions, and had taken the backpack with him.) From there, he drove to the new location, which housed the Champions of Othrys. It was hard, with his arm in splint, but somehow, he managed to make it. By then, he was already 17.