There's No Place Like Greece...There's No Place Like Greece
By WynonaRose (Darla P.)
The sunny day had turned a dark and dangerous gray seemingly within seconds. Iolaus had hoped to bag something quick and easy for lunch before he continued toward Corinth where he was meeting Hercules and Iphicles for some well-deserved R & R. The sudden gusting wind blew away any thought of lunch. He was walking through a thickly wooded area and the bushes and branches were whipping around in frenzy. It was all he could do to avoid serious injury from flying foliage and fleeing fauna.
Within the space of five minutes the wind had become so strong that trees were actually falling over, being pulled from the ground. Iolaus held tight to a slender tree, but that one also could not withstand the onslaught of wind. He was spun up and up in a dizzying spiral. Looking down, he had only one thought on his mind. 'It's gonna hurt when I land!'
Consciousness spun away as easily as the trees and Iolaus could remember no more of his dangerous flight through the sky while still firmly held within a tunnel of wind.
He awoke gradually to a deep thunder within the earth he was lying on. He could hear a steady thrum with his ears, but more than that; it vibrated through his bones. His eyes opened slowly to bright sunlight and he found that he was still clutching the uprooted tree that he had thought would provide him protection. Now, however, it was a trap. He was pinned beneath it and couldn't free his left arm or either leg.
The bone-grating sound seemed to be getting nearer, the ground and tree trembled before it. He raised his dizzy head as high as he could, looking for a cause.
The cause was heading straight for him! A huge metal animal of some sort. His vision wasn't entirely clear, but it looked like a person was riding within the monster. As it closed the distance he began to struggle to get out from under the tree. Looking up, he found the beast almost on him. He screamed!
The thunder abruptly stopped; the silence almost as loud as the previous rumbling. Realizing his eyes were tightly closed, he opened them to see what had happened. The metal monster had stopped, and what was definitely a woman was climbing down off of it. She ran toward him with concern creasing her face.
"Oh my god. I don't know how you got here! I just saw you fall out of thin air."
Iolaus didn't respond. He was studying her and her machine. She wore clothing unlike any he'd ever seen on a woman before. A long-sleeved shirt with small, delicate buttons all the way down the front, long pants, shoes that weren't boots or sandals, and a big-brimmed hat.
"Oh dear," she muttered, "you're hurt, you poor thing, you're bleeding!" She bent over and tried to move the tree, but was unable to budge it. "Stay still. I'll get the dozer and move this tree away."
The woman ran back to the metal beast and climbed aboard. It roared to life so suddenly that Iolaus yelled again and tried frantically to move the tree himself. The creature moved toward him in a lumbering manner. A huge bucket on the front dropped down to the ground and scooted under the foot of the tree. It then lifted the tree as if it weren't heavy at all. He scooted back and the machine laid the tree back down.
The noise stopped as Iolaus tried to stand. He clumsily grabbed hold of some branches and lifted himself up. He sat on the trunk of the tree as the woman ran back to him.
"Is anything broken?" she asked with urgency. "You probably shouldn't be moving."
"I'm okay," Iolaus answered. "Where am I, and what is that machine you control?"
"You've never seen a bulldozer before? I use it to plow the fields and move big rocks and stuff. You must have hit your head really hard. You're in Kansas, silly!"
Iolaus sat quietly, not knowing if "Kansas" was the name of her field, her farm, her town, her province, or her country.
"I'm Sandy," she told him, reaching out her hand. "Let's get you back to the house and take care of those cuts and bruises."
Iolaus introduced himself as he took her hand, allowing her to help him stand. Otherwise, he said nothing. He didn't see any sand on her so he assumed Sandy could be her name. Her hair was a curly medium blonde, just like sand, but in the bright sunlight he could see whispers of red in it. He halted when he saw they were walking, or rather limping, to the big, noisy machine.
"Come on," she said, "It's too far to walk. It's noisy, but it's not gonna hurt you!"
She helped him climb aboard, then sat beside him on the narrow seat. The ponderous machine lurched forward.
Iolaus held on for dear life while he looked around the surrounding field. He'd never seen such a large farm in all his life. It would take months to plow this ground with a shovel, or even with a plow. Evidently, the machine made it much easier to prepare larger amounts of acreage.
Soon they came within sight of a large farmhouse, a barn, a corral; all fairly familiar objects. Some horses, chickens, pigs, and lots of dogs were running around with what looked like about half a dozen boys. When they got closer he could see that a couple of the children were girls. They were all dressed alike and he found he had to get close to tell the difference.
They all ran forward to see why the bulldozer was heading toward the house, and to see who was riding with Sandy.
"Hey, mom, waz up? Where'd ya dig up that guy?" The speaker was a boy, maybe twelve or thirteen.
"I found him hurt out in the field," she answered, purposefully omitting that she had seen him fall from the sky. "You kids go play. I'm going to see how badly he's hurt."
"Are ya gonna call an ambulance?" a younger, smaller child asked. "That'd be kewl, dude!"
"I don't know yet. Timmy, go get Adam please." The older boy took off running across the field they'd just lumbered through, evidently heading toward another farmhouse.
Sandy helped Iolaus climb down off the dozer. He was stiff and sore. His head throbbed terribly. And he was positive he was completely hallucinating. None of this was really happening. He just had to wait until he woke up, that's all.
He saw that all the windows were covered in glass. An unexpected luxury. Such a delicate material for window covering. He'd seen glass before, but it was used sparingly for works of art, or for the very wealthy. No one would be foolish enough to expect it to withstand the ravages of storms and winds.
He leaned against Sandy as she helped him into the kitchen. "Would you like some Pepsi, Gatorade, Sunny Delight, a beer, some water?"
He had no clue at all what most of those words meant, but he'd heard of beer and water. He nodded, "Some water, please. If it's not too much trouble."
"Oh, don't be silly, it's no trouble at all." She took a mug out of a glass-enclosed cabinet then approached a huge copper-colored box with controls on the outside. She slid the mug against a small bar and small cubes of glass fell into the mug. She then moved to another small bar and water poured into the mug. He stared at it when she sat it in front of him.
The mug was glass, not metal, and why would she serve him water with glass boxes floating in it? He still just stared at it.
"What's the matter?" Sandy asked.
"Why's there glass in the water?" he asked hesitantly.
She laughed. "That's not glass, it's ice. It makes your water cold!"
Iolaus knew what ice was, but he'd never seen it in cube shapes falling out of a hole in the side of a brown box. He lifted the glass to his lips and experimentally took a sip. It was water all right. Nice and cold. He had swallowed so much dust and dirt in the twister that he gulped it down in an instant. Sandy smiled and refilled the glass. He took care of that one just as fast.
"Let's go upstairs and get you cleaned up so Adam can see what kind of injuries you have."
"I'm all right. Just a little shaken, that's all."
"Well, you're shaking blood all down your face and arms, so come on." She hauled him to his feet and took him up the stairs.
They went up a staircase that was like nothing he'd ever seen. It had thick carpet on it and brass handrails. These people must be unbelievably wealthy!
They passed a bedroom and a pouting young voice called out. "Mom, I've been stuck in this stupid room all day. This is cruel and unusual!" The girl caught sight of Iolaus. "When did the cat drag this dude in? He might be kinda cute if he wasn't covered with, like, the vampire look."
"Knock it off, Bibi. He was hurt out in our field. AND, if you were studying at the library like you were supposed to be doing, you wouldn't be sitting in your room doing nothing right now."
"Yah, yah, yah!" the girl responded.
Iolaus was amazed that the woman let the girl speak to her so disrespectfully, but followed her on down the hallway.
They entered a large, airy bedroom. Beautiful bedcovers, curtains, plants and wall hangings filled the room with a lovely outdoor feel. She led him through the room to a smaller room.
This room he couldn't even imagine what its use could be. One whole wall was a mirror. He did look a lot worse than he felt. There was a countertop with a big bowl in it with a hole in the bottom of the bowl. Next to the counter was a big white chair but the chair had a huge hole filled with water. On the other side of the room was a tiny glass-enclosed room.
Sandy could see the confusion on his face. "Do you know what this room is?"
He looked at her as if he were called on in class to answer a question to which he had no clue.
She sighed. "You really must have hit your head hard. We will have to take you to the hospital I think." She moved him around the room and showed him how each item worked. His eyes were opened in awe. "This is the sink, turn the handles, the right one for cold water, the left one for hot, use both at the same time to make the water warm. We use the sink to wash our hands and faces, brush our teeth...that sort of thing. Here's a toothbrush, brand new. Use it and a dab of this, toothpaste, to clean your teeth, front and back. Don't swallow it, spit it out and rinse your mouth out. You've got blood on the side of your mouth so you may have knocked a tooth loose or cut the inside of your cheek."
She watched while he brushed his teeth, giving him pointers until he'd done the job to her satisfaction. It took quite a few rinsings for the water to run clear instead of red and pink.
She then moved to the toilet. "This is for, uh, call of nature stuff. Look, you do your thing, whichever, use the paper hanging here to wipe with, then press this lever." She made a wiping motion and threw the tissue into the toilet, then flushed it. Iolaus jumped back in surprise.
"Call of nature?" he asked tentatively. "Right here in the house?"
"Yeah," she answered with a smile. "Right here in the house! This is called a 'bathroom' and there are several of them in the house." She took him to the shower. "Now, this is called a shower. I want you to take everything off, get in and get yourself cleaned up so Adam can get a clean look at your wounds. This is shampoo; it's soap for your hair. Wash your hair gently, then rinse all the soap out. This is soap for your body," she indicated a plastic bottle of amber-colored liquid. "Here's a wash cloth. Put some soap on the washcloth and wash your entire body, and I do mean 'entire'. Rinse off really well. Dry off with these towels and put on this robe when you're done. Adam should be here by then and I'll have some clean clothes for you to put on while I wash yours. Now, get to it." She reached in and set the water to a comfortable temperature and looked at him. "You understand?"
He nodded and she left the room, shutting the door behind her. He stripped off his dusty, bloody clothing and stepped into the warm stream of water. What luxury! Both the shampoo and the soap smelled like a lady's perfume, but he was so happy to be clean, in nice warm water, that he didn't even care. He turned the water off, just the way Sandy had shown him and dried his hair and body, loving the feel of the soft towels against his battered body. Looking in the mirror, he could see dozens of scrapes around his back, chest, face, and legs. Many bruises spotted his skin. Some of them already a glorious purple. He could see a gash over his right ear that was only oozing a little. He didn't want to get blood on her cloth towel so he pulled off some of the tissue and dabbed the few drops of blood away. He then got his first chance at using a 'toilet', and was again surprised at the swirling water.
He put on the robe and went back out into the bedroom. Sandy was there with two men. One about her age and one rather elderly. The younger one she introduced as her husband, Steve, and the older one as Adam. Sandy went into the bathroom and picked up Iolaus' soiled clothing. Adam shooed both Sandy and Steve out of the room and told Iolaus to sit on a wicker chair by the light of the window. He examined Iolaus' head as he began to question him.
"What's your name, son."
"Do you have any other name? Like a last name? See, I'm Adam McDuffy, Steve is Steve Thompson. Do you have another name like that?"
"No, sir. Just Iolaus."
"What city are you from, Iolaus."
"Thebes, huh? Is that in Greece?"
"Sandy tells me that you seem to have lost your memory, you didn't know where you were, didn't know how to work the bathroom, didn't know what ice-cubes were, that sort of thing. But, you seem to be able to answer my questions pretty well. In Thebes, what does your house look like?"
"It's not like this! It has one big room for the kitchen, a bedroom, and a forge out back."
"How do you cook your food?"
"In the fireplace when I'm at home, but over a campfire most of the time."
"Do you have any gods that you worship."
"We have plenty of gods, but none I worship. Well, a few of them I can count on in a pinch, but most of them are just plain mean."
"What gods can you count on?"
"Well, once in a great while Aphrodite, Cupid, Zeus, Athena, Artemis, Hermes when he's not busy playing practical jokes on me. Prometheus. Hephestes. And of course Hercules, but he's only half god."
"Okay, stand up and take the robe off so I can see what else I'm working with."
Iolaus did as he was told, but still held the robe around his waist. Adam turned him around, clucking at the injuries, both new and some very serious old ones.
"What do you do for a living?"
"When I'm not helping Hercules, which is most of the time, I run the forge."
"You're very muscular. Are you a soldier? Do you fight a lot?"
"Yeah, seems like about every day sometimes. People always need help with bandits, pirates, monsters, that sort of thing."
"What kind of weapons do you use?"
"Sword mostly, staff, knives, frying pans, just about anything I can grab sometimes. Hercules usually doesn't use weapons. He's a weapon all by himself."
"Isn't Hercules your uncle?"
"No, we're just friends. What made you think he was my uncle?"
"Oh, just a rumor. You've battled creatures like the Hydra and the She-demon, giants and Titans?"
"Yeah, and lots of others."
By this time Adam had wrapped a bandage around Iolaus' head and had covered the still oozing cuts and scratches. He allowed Iolaus his modesty, but insisted on taking care of the wounds on his thighs also.
"Steve left these clothes out for you while Sandy cleans your own clothes." He showed Iolaus how to put on the boxer shorts, then a pair of long pants, and a tee shirt that allowed his muscles to be shown off quite nicely. Socks and tennies were last.
"I smell dinner cooking. Let's get downstairs so I can invite myself to dinner."
Iolaus felt strange wearing the odd clothing, but followed the older man down the stairs. As he passed the girl's room, she sat up on her bed and whistled at him. He turned a slight shade of rose, but kept going.
"Hope you like spaghetti, Iolaus." Sandy said as she finished putting the food on the table. She then went to the foot of the stairs and called for Bibi to come down.
Seated at the table were Steve and Sandy, Timmy and Bibi, the younger boy whose name Iolaus had not yet learned, Adam and himself.
He had no clue at all what spaghetti was, but it sure smelled good. The platters were passed around the table till everyone's plate was filled.
"How's your patient, Adam?" Steve asked.
"No serious harm done. I'm sure his memory will come back when he gets home."
"How do we get him home if we don't know where he lives?"
"That, I'm gonna have to think about for a while."
The food was delicious and Iolaus didn't realize just how hungry he was. He had been hungry even before this weird adventure began.
"What happened about that liquor-store robber you arrested, Steve," Sandy asked. "He threatened to send his friends here. He knew you!"
"People threaten police officers all the time, Sandy. I wouldn't worry about it."
"But, Steve, he said he knew you and knew where you lived."
"I know. I'll be on the lookout and some of the guys on shift will be coming by more often."
"Mom, I'm done, can I show Iolaus the animals?" Timmy asked
"If he's done eating."
Iolaus answered with a hand over his stomach. "I was finished a while ago, just didn't have the sense to quit eating. It was very good. Thank you, Sandy."
"Well, at least someone around here appreciates my cooking!"
Steve reached over and put an arm around her. "You know I appreciate your cooking...and a whole lot more."
"That's it! Mush time!" Timmy scowled. "Let's go, Iolaus."
He followed the two little boys out of the house and around to the barn.
After Iolaus and the children left, Adam's face turned serious.
"What do you think, doc?" Steve asked.
"I think he's exactly what he says he is. I think he's actually transplanted from ancient Greece and got stuck here in some kind of time-warp or something."
"That's just plain ridiculous. He's just a bum wandering the highway," Steve countered.
"But, Steve," Sandy interrupted. "I saw him fall from the sky, from nowhere, no plane, no hot air balloon, just boom, all of a sudden he was there. He fell about twenty feet all wrapped up in the tree that's still sitting out in the field."
"Sandy, I've known your family a long, long time. Would you go get me the old, old family album? The one no one ever looks at because no one remembers who the people are."
"Sure, Adam." Sandy rose to get the album. Steve still looked very skeptical.
"Steve, I spoke to the boy. He knows nothing about anything in this time period. But he's a walking encyclopedia of ancient Greece. That makes him either a professor of historical anthropology and mythology, or he's an idiot savant, which I feel is highly unlikely. He's too knowledgeable, he learns very quickly. He's definitely a fighter. People in ancient Greece lived and died by the sword with only a few heroes to help them. One thing really sticks in my mind. In Greek mythology, Iolaus was Hercules' nephew. But this Iolaus says that Hercules is unrelated, but they fight the labors together, just like mythology says. I gotta tell ya, Steve. I believe every word he's said."
Sandy brought the album and put it on the table in front of Adam. He flipped knowingly to a particular page and turned the album around to show Sandy and Steve. He pointed to an old, faded and cracked, black and white photo. The man shown was of moderate build, curly light hair, and a brilliant smile that made his middle-aged face look like a teenager. Under the picture was penciled the words 'Nathaniel Iolaus Morcos'.
Husband and wife were both stunned.
"Sandy, I believe this man is your many, many times removed great-grandfather."
"Why's he here? Why now?"
"That I can't even guess, but the gods of Greece were powerful. Most of the time they were cruel, but some were kind. One of them sent him here, but whether for good or evil I can't say. Perhaps just to get him away from Hercules so he can't complete his labors. I don't know."
"What's your name, Partner?" Iolaus asked the littlest boy with a hand on his shoulder.
"I'm Bobby. I just learned how to ride a two-wheeler, wanna see?"
"He doesn't want to see you ride your stupid bicycle, he wants to see the animals."
"Can't I see both?" Iolaus asked quietly.
Bobby ran over and pulled a wheeled contraption away from the side of the house. Iolaus had never seen anything like it. The little boy climbed aboard and started pumping his legs around in circles on the pedals. He was wobbly, but he was really pretty good at it.
"I've never seen a machine like that before. You're pretty talented to be able to work it."
"What!" Timmy screamed. "You've never seen a bicycle? Where you from, Mars or something?"
"No, I just don't get around very much."
"I'll teach you how to ride it if you want."
"I'd better not. I might break it."
"Don't be silly, you're not gonna break it. I've never seen an adult who couldn't ride a bike."
"I'll give it a try, but don't expect too much. Tell me what to do."
It took a few tries, with Timmy running along pushing the bike just like he was a father and Iolaus the child. Finally, though, Iolaus was flying around the family's huge driveway having the time of his life. Timmy and Bobby both grabbed other bikes and joined him. He felt like a kid again.
Something, a throbbing again, kinda like the dozer he'd heard earlier, caught Iolaus' attention. He stopped and looked down the highway. He saw a dozen or so machines heading toward the house. They were on bigger bicycles, but they were loud and obviously motorized.
Timmy stopped in fear, flew off his bicycle and ran into the house. "Dad, Dad, the bad guys are coming!"
'Bad guys', Iolaus thought to himself. "Bobby, go in the house. And keep your family away from the windows! GO!"
Iolaus got off the bike and looked around for a weapon. He saw a shovel and an apple picker leaning against the shed. He picked them both up, settled on the shovel, and turned to face the approaching hoard of motorcycles.
Steve ran out of the house, holding a long metal bar in his hand. The bar was hollow, and was thicker at one end, it had a lever on it that could be pulled. This was a weapon, Iolaus was sure. Stuck in the side of Steve's waistband was a smaller version. "Do you know how to use a gun?" he asked Iolaus.
"No, but I know how to use this!" Iolaus responded with menace.
"Good enough," Steve responded. "Sandy's already called for reinforcements. We shouldn't have to hold them off too long."
That was all they had time to say. The motorcycle riders were upon them. They threw rocks at the house, breaking every window on that side. They skidded around the corner and began throwing more rocks at the front of the house.
Steve lifted his metal rod and a deafening blast exploded from it. Iolaus was amazed when he saw one of the cyclists fall off his bike, clutching his leg.
Iolaus ran into the middle of the moving cycles, swinging with all his might. Each rider was wearing a helmet, but that didn't help them stay on the bikes when smashed in the face with a shovel.
There were at least fifteen of them. Iolaus knocked nine off the bikes then used the stick end of the shovel to beat them down into groaning masses. Steve picked off one at a time, aiming each time for the tires or legs. Unfortunately, one shot went wild, hit the gas tank, and the motorcycle blew up. That cyclist was certainly dead, and it knocked another four or five off their own bikes.
Iolaus had to do some fancy footwork to avoid being mowed down by the suddenly riderless cycles that were spinning around until they ground to a stop. He was unable to miss one and it took him right off his feet knocking him painfully across the side of the skidding cycle. He knew without looking that his leg was broken.
Sirens were heard in the distance and soon the homestead was swarming with police and medical personnel.
Between the two of them, Steve and Iolaus had managed to take down every one of the hoodlums with only the one fatality.
All the rest were loaded into ambulances and driven away. One ambulance remained, waiting for Iolaus. Steve turned to him, grateful for the help and upset the man had been further injured saving his family. "Thanks man. I couldn't have lasted till help came without you."
"Your welcome. We'd better check on your kids."
"I'll check, you have to go to the hospital now."
"I'll go when I see your family's all right."
"Boy, you're about as stubborn as my wife! Come on. I'll help you in, then I'm helping you right back out again." They entered the house as other officers started loading up the dozen plus motorcycles onto trucks to be impounded.
Bibi, Timmy, and Bobby were all crying in the den with Sandy and Adam trying to reassure them. When they saw their dad and Iolaus, they jumped up and hugged each of them. None of them were hurt. Bobby did a good job of making sure everyone got away from the windows, just like Iolaus had told him.
Iolaus looked closely at Sandy. She looked so familiar to him. "Sandy, do you know anything about your ancestors?"
"Well, I know my family originated in Greece. All the women on my father's side carry a family name. It's kind of a tradition. My middle name is Gabrielle. Sandra Gabrielle Morcos-Thompson."
"I see." Iolaus said, but could say no more. He felt tears coming to his eyes when he realized who the woman standing before him was.
Adam moved up to him and rechecked his bleeding head. "You know a Gabrielle don't you?"
Iolaus just nodded.
"Are you married?"
"No, but we're very close friends."
"I have a feeling you will be. You realize you must have been sent here for a reason. This reason. To help Steve and Sandy tonight."
"I guess so. Time travel is forbidden for the gods. But I guess it's not against their code to send mortals whenever they like."
Adam waved the ambulance attendants over and made Iolaus lie down on the stretcher. They put a sliver of metal in his arm attached to a long clear tube. Soon, the pain went away, floating on a hazy cloud of happy well being. They placed a bag around his leg, tearing the pants he'd just recently acquired. They pumped it up so the leg was held steady, just like a splint with sticks and strips of cloth.
He began to feel drowsy and the rocking of the ambulance put him to sleep as comfortably as a baby rocked in its mother's arms.
"Iolaus!" Hercules called worriedly. "Iolaus, come on, you're scaring me. Wake up!"
Slowly, like he was climbing from a comfortable cocoon, he came awake. He felt Hercules' strong arm supporting him into a semi-sitting position, holding Iolaus against his chest.
"Hi, Herc. Am I home?"
"You will be soon enough. You got caught in a twister and broke your leg, along with a lot of cuts and bruises, and a nasty slam on the head." Iolaus could see that he was lying next to the same tree that had trapped him so recently.
Hercules lifted Iolaus into his arms and started back toward his brother's castle. Iolaus didn't give his usual protest at being carried. He just looked around at the wonder of his world. He still felt the same floating druggedness he had felt from the medication he'd been given. Or thought he'd been given. His leg was splinted; Herc must have done it because the bubble bag was gone and a regular splint was there. It didn't hurt, as he would have expected it to.
"Herc, there's no place like Greece," he told his friend groggily, laying his head on Hercules' broad shoulder. "Thank the gods I'm not in Kansas anymore."
- THE END -
Hercules and Iolaus belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. They were used without permission. No copyright infringement intended. No money was made.