Hermes, Mercury, over the ages has taken on a vastly different flavour from what the Ancients offered.

As messenger of the gods, he could be all we really know of them. And eventually we receive only messages. We can only surmise the existence of the messenger.

Hermes Trismagistus, the Hermetic god, has been associated with much that is mystic, and just just mysterious through the middle ages.

Down to modern times, all that remains of the messenger is various oracular devices, the modern one being the Tarot. The Rider Deck, favoured by Alister Crowley, and the more new age ones, some depicted in the Whole Earth Catalogue.

The Egyptian cognate of Hermes/Mercury is Thoth. And there is a somewhat primitive Tarot deck called the Book of Thoth. If memory serves, since I have not devined since my youth, now that I am here, the Book of Thoth consists only of Major Arcana cards. The decks that have come down to us through the middle ages and the Romany, gypsies is the unpolitically correct term, also carry the Minor Arcana.

Hermes (Mercury)

In Greek mythology, Hermes was the son of Zeus and Maia (the daughter of Atlas) and the father of Pan and Silenus. He wore winged sandals, a winged hat, and carried a wand with the Caduceus.

Hermes was Zeus' Messenger who did his bidding in the blink of an eye. He was also the Master Thief and began at this trade when he was less than one day old by stealing Apollo's herd that night. Zeus made Hermes return the herd. Hermes made it up to Apollo by presenting him with a lyre he had just invented, made of tortoise shell. Later in his life, Hermes used his cunning skills to free Ares from prison.

Hermes was also the God of Commerce and the Market and protector of traders. In addition, he was the Divine Herald, the guide of the dead who led souls to their final resting place.

Tales of Hermes depict him as the most cunning and shewd of gods.

Hermes Slays Argus

Hermes was also the name given to a small asteroid that in 1937 approached within 780,000 km of the earth, the closest approach of an asteroid ever observed.

Hermes was also an excellent BBS package for the Macintosh closely resembling WWIV. In general if you were on a Macintosh BBS in the eary 90's it was running Hermes. For a time there was a big rivalry among the Hermes based pirate BBS's and the ones based on Telefinder and Novalink.

compiled overview of the 30ton Hermes 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

The Hermes was designed by Irian BattleMechs Unlimited as a heavy scout for the Star League Defense Forces. Commissioned in 2632, the 'Mech was delivered in record time. Though the design requirements were fulfilled to the letter, the Quartermaster Command was skeptical of the swift delivery. Line officers were not surprised, therefore, when many of the first Hermes 'Mechs turned out to have glitches making their targeting systems useless. When the source of the problem was discovered many months later, techs had to spend hours in field-repair time rewiring the electronic bays of the new 'Mechs. Once this glitch was corrected, the Alexis Photon Target Acquisition System became a point of pride for Irian.

The Alexis paints the target with a low-intensity targeting laser before actually firing either laser. If the Alexis fails to lock onto a high-density target, such as an armored vehicle or 'Mech, the system suspends the order to fire. The fire order is held in a buffer until the system acquires a valid target. If no target is achieved within two seconds, the order is canceled. While the heat buildup in the laser capacitor still has to be dissipated, the system saves wear and tear on the laser focusing apparatus, thus reducing maintenance requirements. Like many pieces of Star League lostech, most Alexis systems are no longer functional and have been replaced with more readily available targeting systems.

The Hermes design called for a 'Mech as fast as any then in service. The end product greatly exceeded initial expectations, but only at the cost of extremely weak firepower. The high cruising speed was seen as desirable, but the lack of significant firepower made the 'Mech unpopular. Scout pilots could not get used to a 30-ton 'Mech with only two medium-range weapons. As a result, the Hermes saw service for nineteen years, after which time the 'Mech was taken out of active service, put into storage and the manufacturing line shut down.

The hand flamer of the Hermes is an older design using a fuel mixture rather than tapping into the fusion plant's plasma field. When the weapon is triggered, the upper cylinder releases a napalm gel. The gel is forced along pressure hoses toward the nozzle. Instead of exposing the napalm to open flame, the gel mixes with small amounts of phosphorus suspended in water. When the phosphorus hits the air, it bursts into flame, igniting the napalm. The system is considered among the safest devised, because the napalm is stored far from the igniting agent. Only a small amount of phosphorus is required to ignite the mixture, and so damage to the storage cylinder usually causes only minor damage to the limb. As a further safeguard, ejection racks can jettison the storage cylinders away from the 'Mech.

When Irian BattleMechs Unlimited shifted to production of the Hermes II in the late twenty-eighth century, the original Hermes became a dead design, existing only in blueprints. It was still a good light 'Mech design, but Irian no longer had the ability to equip it with an endo steel internal structure and ferro-fibrous armor. With the unlocking of many Star League-era technological secrets, the Hermes has once again become a feasible design.

Reliable agents inside Irian report that the Hermes has begun limited production as a specialty 'Mech. Three separate models have come off the line, all dispensing with the flamer and incorporating Myomer Accelerator Signal Circuitry. All three are task-specific 'Mechs employing the MASC system as an emergency measure to get out of harm's way.

The most common of the three carries the Beagle active probe to enhance its reconnaissance capabilities. A single Hermes so equipped is commonly assigned to a battalion.

The other two models are more likely to be assigned to a regimental headquarters unit. The first carries Guardian ECM equipment, usually to screen the position of the headquarters. The other carries target-acquisition gear to spot for 'Mechs and vehicles equipped with artillery. Few 'Mech units employ this weapon, and so the Hermes variant equipped with TAG is rare.

Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.

Her"mes (?), n. [L., fr. Gr. .]

1. Myth.

See Mercury.

Hermes Trismegistus [Gr. 'Ermh^s trisme`gistos, lit., Hermes thrice greatest] was a late name of Hermes, especially as identified with the Egyptian god Thoth. He was the fabled inventor of astrology and alchemy.

2. Archaeology

Originally, a boundary stone dedicated to Hermes as the god of boundaries, and therefore bearing in some cases a head, or head and shoulders, placed upon a quadrangular pillar whose height is that of the body belonging to the head, sometimes having feet or other parts of the body sculptured upon it. These figures, though often representing Hermes, were used for other divinities, and even, in later times, for portraits of human beings. Called also herma. See Terminal statue, under Terminal.


© Webster 1913.

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