Pairing: er... no one, really
Warnings: the AJ 'Verse, right before part 6 of "Ascensiones"
Summary: Prometheus vs. Daedalus
Notes: Turns out, not as cool a way to start a chappie as I'd hoped.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"Thy Godlike crime was to be kind."
--Lord Bryon, "Prometheus"
Prometheus stole fire from the heavens, damning himself to an eternity of having his liver pecked out by the eagle Aethon at Zeus' command – or Jupiter's, if one felt a particularly Roman bent. On Earth, in certain traditions, he is a symbol of human striving and the unintended consequences of scientific advancement.
But Prometheus never invented the flames that he stole. The ancient Greeks attributed that honour to Hermes – known to the Romans as Mercury, - which made it fitting that the SGC chose to name their first X-303 after him. So very little of what went into that battleship was of Tau'ri invention. Most of it had been taken, more or less directly, from goa'uld designs, which had in turn been cribbed from Ancient ruins. Like the titan, both species were intellectual thieves, standing on the shoulders of giants while boasting how high they'd climbed.
Daedalus was the true innovator of the ancient world. Held to be the son of Athena – Minerva to the Roman world, – his creations numbered in the thousands, from the banal to the great, from the discovery of isinglass for the clarification of wine to the construction of the Labyrinth of Crete to hold Pasiphaë's son, the Minotaur.
So too he did invent the wax wings that he and his son used to escape from captivity. But it is Icarus who is remembered for that feat, for flying too close to the sun, for having too great ambition – at least in Terran tradition.
It is Daedalus who had too much ambition, however. He was too blinded by his past successes, many as they were, to truly see the dangers of his latest invention. If Icarus flew too high, it was his father's fault for not impressing upon him the risk.
Because there is always a risk.