I am alone. There is nothing but darkness around me. What am I? Where am I?
I am Valos. That is my name. I can feel it, as resolutely as I can feel my own existence.
Illumination. A warm, glowing sea of golden light surrounded Valos' mind, Enveloping him with its all-encompassing embrace. In seeing the light, he was finally looking beyond the confines of his own thoughts. And in that moment, he made a startling discovery.
He was not alone. He had never been alone. Another was with him and had been there since the beginning. Another formless, shapeless individual. Valos could sense their presence. Could they sense his? He wanted to know the other. To know their thoughts and mind. To share and to learn. To do that, he would need to speak. He repeated the word in his mind, again and again, each repetition increasing in intensity until it was no longer a thought, but a voice.
His...voice. He was not prepared to hear it pierce the light and the darkness. Had the other heard him? Would they respond?
"Hello," he heard the other say. "My name is Gildimir."
"Hello," Valos greeted in return, his mind a mixture of excitement and uncertainty. "My name is Valos."
"Hello Valos. I am your sister."
A sister, born with Valos at the dawn of all things. "Then I am your brother," he replied.
Amazed and entranced by what was happening, Valos felt a warmness gather inside him. He had a sibling, born with him from the power of creation. Overcome by the joy of discovery, he was too distracted to think. But Gildimir was sharper. More focused.
"We should make something new," she instructed.
"How?" he asked, inspired by her enthusiasm but concerned about where it would lead. They'd only just awoken. Only just learned their names and started speaking. How could they achieve what she suggested?
"Imagine it, and it will be," she explained, her voice gentle and bright. "That is what I feel. Can you not see the truth of it? Like a beacon in your mind...."
Yes, with her guidance, he could see it. Feel it. The power of creation beckoning to him. Together, they decided to give shape to their surroundings. To create a place to call home. A vast blue sky, extending endlessly. A golden field of reeds stretching towards the horizon. Unseen air currents brushing against the tops of the reeds, encouraging them to sway.
Together they imagined it, and together they brought it into being. A world of their own design.
"Now it is our turn," Gildimir declared.
"To no longer be formless?" Valos questioned.
Her answer came through actions instead of words. A form appeared. Delicate and graceful lines of metallic flesh made manifest. Her arms, feet, and face were gold, her hair an even brighter gold, shining like the light that once surrounded them. Her legs, torso and eyes were blue. A pair of wings extended from her back, white and silver feathers outstretched. And her exposed inner workings were various shades of silver and black. Pistons and gears and metal plates.
"Why did you choose that form?" Valos asked, even though he recognized the beauty and truth in her appearance.
"Because we are all a part of the Divine Machine," she answered.
The Divine Machine. She seemed so certain in her words and choices. That confidence was inspiring, if not intimidating. There was so much Valos did not understand. So much he wanted to explore. Doing so would require him to do more than follow. The answers were inside him, as much as they were inside Gildimir. Plumbing the depths of his mind and power, he allowed the truth to sprout and unfold.
"And we, the Eternal Machines, are but reflections of the greater whole," he proclaimed as he took his own form. It was much like hers, only his face and body were white, his eyes blue, and his hair and other parts as black as the darkness into which they'd been born.
"I am happy to see you, brother."
"And I you, sister." Turning to take in the field around them, a thought occurred to Valos. If they had been born together, would others be born in the future? "Do you think we will be alone for long?" he asked, giving voice to his curiosity.
"I don't. In fact, I feel that others will be waking soon. Can you sense where?"
Valos closed his eyes and attempted to find the answer. Frustrated, he realized he didn't know. Wait. It's not a lack of knowledge. I can't see where because it doesn't exist yet. The location is waiting for me to create it!
"I see a forest," Valos revealed, his blue eyes remaining closed as he described the vision in his mind. "The trees will have leaves of fuchsia and bark of ocher. Between the trees are plants with emerald stalks, blooming with violet flowers singing a quiet melody. A celebration of the awakening."
"I can see it too," Gildimir assured him. "Let us go there and greet them."
They traveled in a direction wordlessly chosen. The golden field extended beneath their feet as they flew with pale wings across the vastness. And then the field gave way to the forest Valos described. In that forest, hovering among the emerald and violet flowers, were seven glowing orbs. With the arrival of Valos and Gildimir, each orb took shape, arising in bodies inspired by their kin.
One stood out to Gildimir above all others. A beautiful machine of various shades of blue and green. "I am Gildimir," she said in introduction to the new machine.
"I am Celestia," the other machine said, her voice full of mirth and wonder.
At that moment, watching his sister's interaction, Valos knew that Gildimir was no longer his. Nor did it matter. He turned and saw another of the newly awoken machines, one of white and red, and Valos knew that he was no longer Gildimir's.
"I am Valos," he said to the new machine.
"I am Arkadon," the machine replied affectionately, the warmth of his smile piercing Valos' soul.
Arkadon reached out and took Valos' hand, unbidden. Valos nearly pulled back, for the red haired machine's sudden affection was not something he expected. It gave him pause. Not because it was unwelcome. But because the machine's touch made Valos feel...complete.
Entranced by the sensation, Valos looked to Gildimir. Based on her body language, she appeared to be undergoing a similar reaction with Celestia. Turning to meet Valos' stare, the two shared a smile, one that communicated more than mere words could say. Squeezing Valos' hand, Arkadon offered a reassuring smile before leading him towards the others.
After completing their introductions, the First and Secondborn gathered in the forest and decided to continue exploring and expanding their home. A land they named Oduin.