Prometheus, and all the other 'gave knowledge to mortals and was cast down for it' gods/goddesses/other mythical figures from various mythologies, being found by mortals, rescued from their punishments, and thanked properly. Even if it's only the first one being found, and the realisation that the others exist, and must be helped. -- RecklessPrudence
[AN: After a little bit of Wiki Wandering, Prometheus is the only one who got punished for sharing wisdom... but I can pretend there's others]
The Alps in summer are still cold. But not often deadly. I like to wander through them and take photographs. The path least travelled and all that.
I got turned around, up in the mountains. Not very bad, you understand. The sort of turned around that you get when you're nearly sure you know where you are and a familiar landmark could be just around the corner. You know the feeling, right?
Yes, of course I always have my GPS and compass with me. I'm not an idiot.
Anyway, I turned the corner and found this guy. Chained to the rock. He was immense. Huge dude. Muscular as anything. And it looked like he'd been there for centuries. Seriously. The rock had eroded and deposited around him. There were trees growing out of his hair.
And an ugly scar, just below his ribs, that looked like something kept opening an old wound.
I tried to take photos, but they all came out weird. The best shot I got of him was a human-shaped flame. That's not what I saw.
And of course I said the most idiotic thing a person could say. "Are you okay?"
He didn't speak. He spake. There's a difference. For a start, the words were in my head. No sound. His lips moved, but there was no sound.
He spake thusly: 1. I THOUGHT I WOULD NEVER BEHOLD A MORTAL. OR THAT A MORTAL WOULD ERE BEHOLD ME.
There was something about him that made me afraid. "How long have you been there?"
He spake again: 2. HOW LONG HAVE MORTAL MEN AND WOMEN SUCH AS THEE CRAWLED UPON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH? HOW LONG HAS THERE BEEN FIRE?
"You need to come down from there," I decided. His chains were wrought iron. Made to last and proof against the elements. But they weren't made to withstand a tungsten-carbide and cerametal saw designed to help hack through granite when a hiker has been trapped in a landslide.
He watched me begin and spake, 3. I THANK THEE FOR THINE EFFORTS, MORTAL, BUT THE OTHER GODS FORGED THOSE BINDS TO BE PROOF AGAINST ANY HUMAN EFFORT.
"And how long ago was that?" I was making headway.
4. I HAVE LOST TRACK OF THE COUNTLESS CENTURIES. SINCE THE FIRST CITIES BEGAN TO DIM THE STARS. SINCE HUMANS DISCOVERED IRON.
And I was through the first of them. Onto the second. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure they thought we'd stay like that." I grinned for him. "Not a chance. You got a name, handsome?"
He was looking at his hand like it was the first time he had seen it in... well... forever. 5. THIS IS WHAT THEY FEARED. THAT THINE PEOPLE WOULD BECOME EQUAL WITH MINE. And after a little bit, he added, 5:1. THEY CALLED ME PROMETHEUS. IT IS AS GOOD A NAME AS THE MANY I HAVE BORNE THROUGH THE EONS.
"Prometheus..." I started in on the ankle chains. I had to cut parallel to his legs. They were chained more directly to the rock. It also meant I'd have to slow down when I got near the other side. "My gram'ma used to tell me stories from the old legends. Prometheus brought humanity the fire of knowledge... and then the others chained him... to..." I got one ankle free, but that wasn't why I slowed my words.
6. THAT IS I.
"With the vulture pecking out your liver?"
I started in on the last ankle bond with renewed vigour. "Nuts to that. I'm getting you out of here. We owe you that much. Minimum." I had to use scissors to free him from the tree. His hair had kept growing and... you know. Outdoors and all that. It was an uneven, choppy imitation of a buzz cut, but he managed to rock the look.
I mean, come on. He was rocking the vines-and-random-debris loincloth, too. I'm full-on lesbian, right? But I would not kick him out of my bed if he turned up in it. And I do admit to dribbling more than a little as he stretched for the first time in millennia.
7. MY ETERNAL THANKS TO YOU, MORTAL. I WOULD BLESS YOU WITH IMPROVED LEARNING, AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF WHERE OTHERS LIKE I ARE TRAPPED, ALSO.
I didn't even have the time to ask, "There's others?" because the knowledge was already in my head. Places. Punishments. The names of the gods so cruelly incarcerated.
Humanity owes them. All of them. Big time. I have what I need to know to find them. And now I can learn things without trying too hard or burning out or just... staring out of a window at the birds instead of studying. It's amazing. I pick things up like three thousand times faster than I used to.
But what I really need to do... is get some help. There's trapped gods all over the place. Punished for the crime of giving us our start out of the stone age. I have the co-ordinates. I need people who know who they are. Who are willing to free them. And, of course, money.
It's worth it. I promise.
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