Author: Awesome Me PM
A mountain that hovers over the lands, casting a shadow that puts the largest birds to shame and spewing steam into the air to conceal itself. A young boy called Hermes stows away on this ship, accidentally leaving his ill mother behind. SteampunkRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Words: 4,149 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 04-21-12 - id: 3015478
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello! New story time!
I've always loved the greek gods, Hermes especially. (ever since that 6th grade project :D ) So I decided to make a steampunk story, using the gods as the characters! I thought about putting this on Fanfiction, but technically, these gods are part of a religion, so technically they aren't any one person's, and these are just my mortal versions that I have decided to create a story around.
For example, it's kind of like writing a story about one of the angels or devils in christian mythology, or claiming your character is an angel or devil I guess...It's hard to explain. you can think of it however you like.
Not Quite a Messenger
Hermes wasn't a quiet kid, he wasn't a loud one either. He wasn't stupid, but he didn't always know what was going on, and usually didn't care to find out. He was a bit shorter than most kids his age, though he stubbornly insisted that he was just a bit slower with the whole 'growth spurt' thing and that he would 'catch up' eventually. His skin was tanned from all the time he spent outside and his hair was curly and dark brown. His eyes were also brown, though a bit lighter or brighter than his hair.
He lived with his mother in a clay apartment built into the side of a mountain, it was a quiet place with pale, sun-bleached walls and maybe a bit too much ivy than what could be considered safe. There were large windows on one side with wooden shutters that would close in the winter and at night. Three rooms made up the little home, a convenient room, where the cooking, eating, and most of the talking would be done. The other two were sleep rooms, Hermes hadn't been in his mother's room for a long time, since he was so small he could't get dressed by himself, so he forgot what it looked like, but he knew his like the palm of his hand. His bed was just big enough so that a little bit of his feet hung off the end. He had a box in one corner, for his clothes, and he had a large threadbare curtain that used to be red hanging between his room and the convenient room.
Most of the town was also built into the mountain, with ladders leading down the rocky side and piles of leaves on top of the lower roofs, just incase anyone were to slip down the side. There was a plateau carved out into the side where a bazar was, the town was famous for it's bazar, their goat-cheese was the best in the country and most of the medicinal herbs they needed grew on the rocky slopes upon which they lived. It was these bazars that Hermes loved, even though he had a pleasant life, he was an adventurer at heart. So much to that he tried to lead an exploration party with his friends down the mountain when he was a child, sadly, all they found was a cliff which most of them almost fell off. He wasn't allowed to try anything like that again for another few years.
Hermes ran up a stone staircase that had been part of the plateau for years, He had seen a giant airship crossing the sky earlier, 'A huge thing, looked like a mountain in the sky.' He told his mother as he ran of with a little pouch of money that he'd been saving up for the bazar. As usual it was bustling, even when the sun was barely up, the colorful shops and stalls were beautiful, and there was an artisan of every kind, though they tended to divide into sections, the blacksmiths in the back right area, bakers in the front mid-left and so on. Hermes dashed in, flitting through the crowds like a bird between trees in a forest.
"Akakios, did you see it, The floating mountain?" Hermes yelled to his friend, a baker who's bread seemed as sweet as his cakes.
"Aye, 'ere, want a biscuit?" The man asked already handing one to the boy.
"Yes, thank you kindly, anyway, did it land? I want to meet the man that flies that beast!" He said determinedly, eating the sweet as he waited for the man's reply.
"I don't think it can land, as far as I know it's hovering over the mountains somewhere to the west of here." Akakios answered and sure enough as he pointed there was a little triangle off the horizon, chained from it's base to the mountain. Hermes grinned and waved to his friend, all but ready to run off after it.
"Wait, 'ermes! I 'eard that the cattle guard likes music, if you bribe 'im you might be able to tour the ship!" Akakios yelled after him.
"Thanks again comrade, I owe you a boat's worth!" Hermes yelled as he ran, thinking of all the music he knew on the way.
By the time he had reached the ship, it was past noon and he had created a set of pipes out of some mountain reeds and could play two songs on it. As Akakios said, the mountain was there and underneath it there was a herd of bright red cattle grazing. A boy about his own age sat leaning against the anchor of the airship playing on a curved instrument with to many holes handles and buttons to count. A sweet melody echoed around the plateau like a summer wind. Hermes sucked up his courage and ducked behind a rock. He was by no means an expert but he could carry a tune. He picked up the pipes and blew.
A high note followed shortly after and haltingly he played a lullaby his mother taught him. The music from the herder's instrument died down until it was just Hermes playing. Wen the lullaby finished Hermes stopped playing.
The Herder played the tune back in a lower octave. Then Hermes got an idea.
He played three long, random notes.
The other boy mimicked perfectly.
Nine notes this time, short, 'staccato' his mother would call them.
Fifteen notes, of varying lengths and tune.
Again, not one was off, Hermes raised his hand to play another tune on his pipes but a pale hand reached out and grabbed them.
"What are these? They look like they're made of plants. Are these what you were playing on?" The herder asked as he looked at the pipes with his blue eyes. The boy's hair was yellow like straw and a golden diadem kept most of the hair from going out at awkward angles. He looked like a northerner. Hermes stood up and brushed the dirt off of his pants.
"Aye, they are, they're pipes, my ma taught me 'ow to use 'em and make 'em." The blond boy's eyes lit up and he pushed the pipes back to Hermes.
"Teach me how to play them, come on, I'd do anything!" He said enthusiastically and Hermes grinned.
"Anything?" The other nodded. "All right, you 'ave to give me a tour of that giant ship of yours." The other boy paused but nodded.
"Okay, fine, now teach me how to play...?"
"Call me 'ermes."
"Okay er-mees, my name's Apollo."
"You're saying it wrong, it's 'ermes."
"Hermes? Why didn't you pronounce the h?"
"D'ya wanna learn to play these or not?" Hermes asked waving the pipes in front of himself like a flag. The blond boy-Apollo, nodded vigorously and Hermes put the pipes to his lips and blowed through the longest reed and a sweet low sound echoed through the clearing. Apollo's eyes lit up as hermes played down the line of reeds.
"Thats amazing, let me try!" He exclaimed jumping up from where he was previously sitting on the grass.
"Wait a minute, not until I get to go on this ship of yours." Hermes said holding the pipes far away from the boy.
"Fine, fine, I'm not allowed to go in because I'm watching the cattle and everyone else is at the festival-thing, but if you climd up the anchor chain and twist the red handle a door will open and you can go in from there. Don't go looking in any rooms do you here me? Especially the pink one the gold one or the white one." Apollo said then gave a girl-ish kind of squeal when Hermes tossed him the pipes.
"Thanks, I'll see ya around, Apollo!" Hermes yelled grabbing on to the first giant chain-link.
The climb was surprisingly easy and the door opened without a hitch, and there was no-one else around in the hallway that it opened to. Hermes pulled himself up and took a gander at the walls, which were dark in the lamplight. He shut the trapdoor and slowly walked down a hallway. He snuck in an open room, one with a dark blue door with a fish on it. It was a large room wit a relatively wet floor, there was a large round tank in the middle with pipes of all sizes coming out of it, a couple of the pipes had rags tied around them and were dripping water onto the ground. It smelt a little like fish in there, Hermes left the room and walked down the hall a bit more, some pipes dripped a little on the floor as he walked, making a soft plink against the metal. Hermes pulled open a nondescript door, which revealed a large, hay covered floor that smelt strongly of cattle. Hermes plugged his nose and ran over to a ladder positioned at the back of the room, After a short climb and opening a hatch he deduced that the room was Apollo's, based on the musical instruments that lined the walls of the little living space, Hermes scampered down to find another room. A pink door was across the way from the cattle room. Hermes opened the door after a second, deciding that it couldn't be that bad.
As soon as the hinge of the door creaked he was hit with a suffocating aroma of spice and flowers and a sort of beach-y wave scent that made him want to vomit. He slammed the door shut and dashed around the corner. Two voices reached his ears,
"Did you hear that, Helios? Sounded like a door slamming to me." A woman's voice said
"Aye, Maybe it was Aphrodite, sounded like her door." A man replied
"You memorized the sound of her door?" The first voice sounded appalled. A smack resonated around the hallway.
"Damn it, Nemesis! That hurt, You'd know the sound of everyone's door to if it was your job to light the lamps!" The man's voice yelled.
"Oh, I thought you were just being-,I apologize." "Nemesis" said sounding none to sorry for the slap. The sounds of their feet seemed to be coming closer and Hermes panicked internally searching for a way out. The door behind him creaked and a hand grasped the back of his tunic, pulling him backwards into a dark room.
There was a dim light coming from the crack between the door and it's frame. A click of a key sounded and the light illuminated a long lock of white hair, pale skin and an eye as red as blood. Hermes rubbed his arms with his hands and paced back until he hit a wall. The person by the door didn't move until the voices faded away into nothing.
"Thank you, I-" Hermes began but was soon cut off by the voice at the door.
"Shut up, What are you doing here? You aren't part of the crew and you look strange." The person said in a voice too young for his pale hair.
"I'm a messenger." Hermes was thinking quickly, "I was just employed today."
"Were you? Who are the other messengers then, and why aren't you with them?" The white haired boy, it sounded like a young male voice, asked suspiciously.
"I answered your question, now answer mine, who are you?" Hermes said smugly as the other inhabitant of the room stepped out of the light. "It's only fair." Hermes continued.
"I'm Hades, now answer my question."
"First of all, It was three questions, to the first, yes, second, I haven't met the messengers yet and I believe that answers the third question too." Hermes replied. "My turn again, Why's it so cold in 'ere, why's it so dark in 'ere, and 'ow can you see in this light, or lack of light." Hermes asked as sounds of shuffling arose from the other side of the room.
"It's cold 'cause there's no fire, that's why it's dark too, and I don't know I've always been like that." Hades responded. Hermes frowned.
"Could we light a fire?" Hermes asked. Hades didn't answer for a while leaving the room in a wary silence. When he finally answered it was slowly.
"I suppose...just...you have to put it out before...you leave." Hades said and some more shuffling was heard. Then Hermes saw a spark right before a fire leaped into it's hearth like a bird into a nest. The room lit up immediately along with Hades. Who's eyes sparkled oddly in the firelight.
"That's better, 'ey, why didn't you 'ave a fire going before?" Hermes said as he looked around the bare room. There was only a small bed that was built into the wall, an armchair and a footrest, Hermes pulled the footrest to himself and looked at Hades, who was slumped in the chair with his eyes closed.
"Y'aren't sleeping are ya?" Hermes asked, looking at two clips that pulled the white hair out of the boy's face, one had a cute, bubbly looking skull and the other had a flower. They looked decidedly girly on him, what with the long pale hair.
"...no." Hades replied though Hermes wasn't convinced.
"How old are ya?" Hermes asked to break the silence.
"Sixteen winters, what about you? Please speak properly though, I can barely understand your accent. It's like you butcher and pull each word apart, then throw away half the letters." Hades said with little of the same slowness he had after the fire was set up.
"I'm thirteen summers as of one moon's cycle ago." Hermes spoke carefully watching to see that he pronounced each syllable as it would be written.
"Oh, my late congratulations then, what are you really doing on this ship though?" Hades opened one eye and looked at Hermes's face before snorting and closing his eye again. "You didn't think I actually believed that lie did you? It's in the way you walk, It's in the way you talk, I don't really need eyes to see through your illusion. Your steps are quiet, but not quiet like a messengers, quiet like you calculate each step before you make it, and if you met my brother, who would be the one to hire you, he probably would have told you to avoid this hallway at all costs." Hades hissed as he said the word 'brother.'
"Oh, well, I suppose I'll work on that after I leave this ship." Hermes commented dryly
"Leaving so soon?" Hades asked with the same amount of sarcasm.
"Well, you are going to turn me in aren't you?" Hermes asked poking at the fire with a metal stick. Hades didn't say anything.
"Why didn't you have a fire going before? I'm sure you were as cold as snow itself, I could feel it through my shirt when you pulled me in here earlier. You had all the supplies to light one."
Hades was silent again for a long time, with only the sound of the fire crackling in the room.
"I...if I'm warm then they'll come, because they're cold, and the fire cant do anything to heat them, and if there's light then I can see their faces, they look just like they did when they died..." Hades said quietly and Hermes could swear he saw him wince but then again, it could have just been a flicker of the fire.
"Dead...do ya-no, you mean ghosts?" Hermes said casting a wary look around the room. Hades chuckled darkly and closed his eye again.
"Don't worry, they let when you got here. I don't think they like you." Hades whispered tilting his face to the fire.
"Oh...Is that good or bad?" Hermes asked weighing the possibilities to himself.
"Good for me...for you...well, it depends on the ghost and what they're willing to do." Hades said cryptically. Hermes tilted his head to the side.
"Does your ability to see them have anything to do with your eyes?" Hermes asked and Hades sighed.
"My brother said that the ghosts sucked away my color from when I was a child and my ability to see the sun. Do you ever get sunburns? Right, well when I go outside I get a sunburn in moments, I turn bright red, like a boiled crab. Needlessly said, I don't see the sun often. Anyway, that's just Zeus, it's how he is, Poseidon's the same, though he likes to pull pranks more than he enjoys insulting." Hades finished, grimacing bitterly. Hermes found a frown upon his face again.
"Surely they can't be that rude to their own brother." Hermes said. Hades snorted again.
"Either they hate me or they've forgotten me. A pity really, the only reason I'm on this ship is because our mother forced them to bring me along. Anyway, what about you, how did you get onboard Mt. Olympus?"
"I gave the bloke outside a set of pipes to play, 'e loves a good tune I think." Hermes explained, unwittingly slipping back into his accent.
"Would you stop that?" Hades hissed opening one eye again.
"Stop what? I 'aven't done anything. I'm just sitting 'ere talking to ya."
"Your voice. It. . my. ears." Hades snapped
"You know, I don't particularly like yours either, it seems that all it can pronounce is insults." Hermes replied, taking care to avoid words with the letter h in the beginning.
"Well, you sound like a fool."
"Then why aren't you laughing."
"I don't laugh."
"Liar, everyone has to laugh, it's natural and it's healthy."
"Well, I must be ill then." Hades scoffed and Hermes stifled a laugh. A buzz went through the walls and floor of the room and Hermes jolted up.
"What, I wasn't serious I'm not actually ill, that was a joke. Messenger?" Hades addressed him warily as Hermes looked around the room. Hermes gave the other boy a confused look and creased his brows.
"Didn't you feel that? It was like the room shuddered. That wasn't just me was it?"
"That was just the anchor being pulled up. It's quite loud and obnoxious from the bottom of the ship. I think it's better towards the top of Olympus though. Are you okay? You've gone pallid." Hades observed. Hermes sat back down and then stood up immediately.
"I have to get off this ship, My mother's down there. I can't just take off and leave her down there! I'm sorry, Hades, I've got to go." Hermes ripped open the door and tore down the hall, bumping into a wall and a young boy on his way, in his panic the walls all looked the same, the doors too. He was just running down random halls until he caught the scent of fish and salt. That door was close to the entrance! He ran down the hall and tripped over the handle of the hatch. With speed that could make a snake jealous he wrenched the door open and practically fell out. With dizzying speed and yet petrifying slowness, he found himself toppling out of the hatch and towards a sea of fluffy clouds painted pink by the setting sun. He flung his feet wildly around the opening of the hatch as he fell, scraping his knees badly on the edge as he desperately and vainly struggled to pull himself back up. Just as his foot slipped and death himself pulled out a certificate for the boy's death, a bony hand clamped itself around Hermes's ankle. Both a feeling of dread and one of intense pain spread throughout Hermes as his ankle cracked in the grip of whoever it was that saved him. The savior grunted.
"You...oaf, pull...your legs together...so I...can drag your sorry ass...back up here!" A condescending voice ordered. Hermes did his best as his pants and tunic whipped wildly in the harsh wind. One hand grasped his other ankle and, with a heave, Hermes found himself, as the voice described, being literally dragged back over the edge and into the flying mountain. His stomach grazing over the side of the hatch-hole stung particularly. His savior collapsed with his back against the steel, panting heavily, white hair askew and hair-clips hanging from an oddly positioned lock.
Hermes dragged in a rasping breath of somewhat-warm air, he practically felt his lungs shuddering and rattling as they laid there for a moment, breathing hard with adrenalin pumping through their veins. Finally Hades spoke, though his words were separated by gulps of air.
"What...in the names of all the gods, did you...think you were doing? Had I not been there all that would be left of you would be...a puddle of crushed bones, flesh and blood! You're lucky messenger, lucky as-I don't even know. You're just damn lucky." Hades yelled. Hermes sat up, and wiped his brow with a cold, clammy hand.
"I need to get back down there, my-my mother, she needs me, S-she caught something two years ago, s-she's bedridden a-and I don't know how she's supposed to fair if I'm not there..."
"Don't you have a father?"
"He left before I was born...Oh no! What if she thinks I left her too? I never should have gotten on this ship. I should stop searching for-"
"Well, you're on this ship, what are you going to do now?" Hades asked turning his head to the boy. Hermes paused and sucked in a breath.
"I-I'll talk to the captain. I'll ask him to drop me off back in my hometown."
"What will you offer in return? Zeus doesn't simply do favors."
"I could...actually be a messenger. I'm fast on my feet." Hermes offered. Hades snorted.
"No doubts there, It was ridiculous trying to catch up to you earlier." Hades concurred. Hermes looked up at the pale boy.
"Could you show me the way?" Hermes asked. Hades scoffed and turned away.
"No." He replied as he pulled himself up off of the floor and into a sitting position. "I won't be of any help. I hardly leave the lowest level of the ship, Zeus is at the top. I know someone who could show you the way though." Hades explained, dusting his own gray tunic off and standing up.
Summary Time! (You can skip this if you'd like)
Okay, so how many have I introduced?
Hermes: Main Character, messenger(?), stowaway.
Maia: (mentioned briefly) Hermes's ill mother.
Apollo: Cattle herder, musician.
Zeus: (mentioned briefly) Captain of ship, brother of Hades and Poseidon.
Possidon: (mentioned briefly) Controls the water supply (the pipes and such)
What did you think? I have plans to involve all of the top 12 as well as:
Kronos + Rhea
Some of them may appear in different form than you expect however, for example, Hermes is thirteen, so he's not going to be getting anyone pregnant, disguised as a goat or not. So Pan will not be his son.
Akakios is mortal and has no relation to any immortal in any mythology. He is purely mine. Stay away from my baker.