Does Hephaestus Laugh?

She tied herĀ boat off and started to climb the cliffs. She knew no one survived what lay beyond the clouds, but still she climbed. Step after step, pulling and pushing her way through boulder fields and open rock faces. And she thought of Olympus, and the gods, and wondered if they missed their lofty hearth. She wondered if Hephaestus and HadesĀ could hear her traipsing over their heads, and if they laughed or shook their head at her advancement. Did they fear the wrath of the king, or were they simply content to while away the nights and days watching the world above move on without them? And did the queen ever fear a dethroning, or was she content to sit at the foot of the throne? She clambered through the air, thick with moisture and wintry particles. She could feel her temperature falling despite the exertions, her breath coming out in harsh pants. Was Zeus watching and waiting for an opportune moment, filling the world with heavy air? Did he and Poseidon work together to conquer the planet? Did they fall together or fall apart? She reached the summit and looked around. Without warning, the clouds were swept away to reveal the whole of the earth, from one edge to the other, and she knew why no one returned. Was this how Atlas felt, was this the view he had from the stars?