The storm bursts ravage the peaks of the Urals. The most violent rain pours down when it feels like it, then stop all appearance for months, making the windy soil a desert of dust. One day, one night, storms finally return, rolling all under their blows. Water is running, sky is roaring, rain never stops. This is the paradise that my uncle chose to chain me until death.
Here, on the heights of Altai, the ancient city that was the first refuge of our ancestors the Titans when they landed on this wild world. Sad symbol. No one could find worse place to punish a Titan.
I am at fault, it is true. I, Prometheus, I tricked my uncle Zeus. Yes, I admit, I had pulled his leg once too often. Uncle Zeus made a grimace. Why did I giggle? As he yelled, whining so loud, peeping so strong, the Mighty Queen was upset. Hera lifted her protection, abandoning myself to the wrath of her consort. With a leniency clause: Hera promised that a human would release me. As long as he holds me, Zeus does not care. Naked, covered in chains, I was transported on these hated mountains.
For a hundred years, a thousand years perhaps, I froze and dried under Ural winds. But worse is yet to come. Every night the Queen made, my pain is fierce. An eagle rushes down on me, devouring my bowels. The zealous rapacious bites my liver, which pushes every morning because Zeus is a smart guy coupled with a freaky misfit. If his cunning is notorious, his grudge is too. He plays the eagle and retaliates at leisure. I pulled his leg once or twice, he pulled my liver two hundred thousand times my liver. A privilege of royal cohabitant.
Like him yet I am Titan, terrible is my power that hatred stirs. He is my uncle, he knows me and fears me. Bronze and orchilacrum -alloy that I can not break- nail me to the rocks. If my body is imprisoned, my mind wanders at will, no one can force my thoughts.
Dream is my area, I am absolute master, no place is out of reach, no mind can resist me. I found a human to deliver me. With the support of the Great Goddess, I have guided this human exception. Seasoned martial arts, quick to the mortal struggle, the fearless giant has struck the strongest fellows of his kind. Gym prowess. I have other plans for him. Twelve projects. Hera promised her help, she will deliver.
Years have passed. Hercules fully satisfied me. He accepted the twelve perilous missions I have assigned to it by the mouth of the Great Goddess Hera. He never failed. No human, monster or demon had because of his bravery and strength. His skill makes him a good negotiator. His savvy has often taken him out of troubled water. But his stature and strength are certainly his best assets.
First, he stifled the terrible Nemean lion, that no weapon can not reach, because its skin is impenetrable. The lion squealed, the neck bent, the vertebrae cracked, Hercules went home. First labor, honors.
Then he killed the Hydra of Lerna, damn monster with a hundred heads: every time you slice one, she pushes instantly. Overcome this nightmare was not easy, Hercules did. He went back home. Second labor, honors.
After he caught the Cerynia doe with brazen hooves and golden wood, indomitable creature sacred to Artemis, which he put in his bag and he took her back home whistling the march legion. Third labor, honors.
For good measure, he also captured the huge boar Erymanthian, and he brought home, alive. Me it cut me, but him alone. Fourth labor, honors.
No worry, he cleaned the Augean stables, and it was no picnic: they had never been cleaned before, it schlinguait as hell, not to mention the smell. Fifth labor, honors.
The road is long to twelve, Hercules holds on. He takes a quick look at his checklist.
Let’s see what comes next…
“Killing Stymphalian birds with brazen feathers” – avoiding if possible to take a feather in the body; bronze feathers cut badly.
“Taming the Cretan Bull which Minos kept from Poseidon” – it’s a job for Hercules, I’ll be right back.
“Capture the mares of Diomedes” – Simple interlude. It said they are man-eating mares, but I am more than a man, in short.
“Take back the belt of Hippolyte, daughter of Ares and Queen of the Amazons” – no problem, this belt is priceless, I’ll take it back, and I’ll court the beautiful Hippopo.
“Defeating the giant Geryon with three bodies, and steal his herd of cattle” – yes, but it starts with a dozen beefs, and then you steal a dozen eggs.Lost in translation. See French proverb “qui vole un oeuf vole un boeuf”
“Take back the golden apples of the Hesperides, kept by Ladon” – I am going to throw Ladon down, the golden apples are mine.
“Descend to the Underworld and chain Cerberus, the dog with three heads” – I won’t be long. If I’m not back up in minutes, do not expect me to lunch.
Twelve finished labours, twelve winner honors. Now, right now, he is ready for the great adventure that will see my release. Free !! I, Prometheus, I’ll be free to go as I please and Uncle Zeus cannot do a thing.
Actually, Heraclesmeaning “glory of Hera” the Greek name of Hercules is a good bad ass.
author: Prometheus, LFL Xavier Séguin.