Hera's Pawn

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      The following is an episode of the Young Hercules Fan Fiction Seasons, a non-profit virtual season project; written for fans by fans this is done to help keep the legacy of the short-lived television series Young Hercules alive on the Internet. The overall direction of the story that takes place in this virtual season may not be exactly what took place if an actual televised season had been produced.

AN UNHOLY PACT


(Meg's father kneeling in front of an altar)
(Hera's peacock feather and eyes staring back at her father)
Meg's father: Forgive her please!
A TENDER PROMISE
(Hercules facing Megaera)
Hercules: "I don't want anything out of this. Except you happy and free."
THE WRATH OF HERA
(Peacock eyes floating over Meg's father)
Hera's voice: Allow her to see Hercules.
AND A STRAINED FRIENDSHIP
Iolaus: I hope you know what you're getting into.
Hercules: Back off Iolaus. You're just jealous!
ON THE NEXT YOUNG HERCULES!


UP NEXT!

Teaser

RECENTLY ON YOUNG HERCULES:

      Hercules grabbed the leader as he swung and smashed his knee against the broad man's chest before throwing him backwards. The thug hit a tree and slid to the ground. The other two had advanced on Iolaus as Herk rushed to the girl's side.

HERCULES AND IOLAUS MET MEGAERA

      "Are you ok?" he asked. Shyly she nodded, brushing a stray lock of flaxen hair back from her face. The sides were clipped back and the rest fell down her back. Her dark blue robe reached the ground, belted at the waist. Dark eyes that were almost black stared at him. Pale skin, turning pink from sunburn was stark against her hair.

      "I'm Hercules. You're safe now." he smiled at the lovely girl.

      "Thank you for your assistance." she said softly. "Megaera. Call me Meg please. I've heard of you, Hercules."

MEGEARA KNEW HERCULES' THOUGHTS ON FAITH

      Iolaus's eyes widened when he saw the glimpse of blue flash under her robe. It looked like. . .no. He was seeing things.

      Iolaus lagged behind the pair as they strolled towards Corinth, Herk and Meg laughing and chatting.

      Frowning, Iolaus dragged the stick in the dirt alongside him. One thing the thief had learned was that if something was perfect, it wasn't real. And Meg was too perfect. Hearing bits and pieces of the conversation, Iolaus was disturbed by the fact they had extensively talked about Herk's life. And Zeus. Lots about Zeus.

      "Well, I guess you're probably wondering about me." Meg said softly as they walked. Herk shrugged and half smiled.

      "Yeah, it'd be nice. You know since we rescued you and all." he laughed nervously.

      "I. . .was a priestess."

      "Was? Isn't it kind of a life thing?" he asked.

      "Not if you lose your faith." she smiled charmingly and Herk felt a strange pull in his heart.

      "How can you lose your faith?" he asked. The lonely soul was revealed through her sad smile.

      "You've never had faith in any of them have you?" she searched his eyes. "I suppose not, considering Zeus abandoned you."

      "It's not just Zeus. In the past year, various family members have made themselves known to me, and most of them are not pleasant." he sighed. "In fact, they're down right psychotic."

      "I realize all the gods have their bad sides but when all you see is the bad, it's hard to support that. I've been in service since I was a child, and leaving the grace of a goddess is not a wise choice." Meg said, almost absently.

      "Then why did you? If you don't mind me asking." Herk flashed his smile and Iolaus watched jealously as Meg looked up at him coyly.

      "It's hard to condone her actions when revenge seeps into each one." Meg replied.

      Iolaus listened carefully.

      "So uh, how did you decide to leave?" Iolaus asked, stepping up his pace to match theirs. Meg looked uncomfortable.

      "It wasn't easy."

      "Iolaus, she doesn't want to talk about it." Hercules said in a low, warning voice. Iolaus eyed the girl.

      "It's just. . .a very serious offense in my family and. . ."

RETURNING HOME, ALL WAS NOT WELL FOR MEG

      "Hello father." she said mildly. The man grabbed her by the arm.

      "First you disgrace me by turning your back on the great Hera! Then you run away, and show up with two boys!"

      "Hera?" Herk whispered.

      "Sir, we rescued her-" Iolaus started.

      "Aye! I bet you did! And I can only imagine what favors she bestowed on you it!"

      "Sir, nothing-" Herk started.

      "Enough, whelp! My tart of a daughter will be shipped to Hestia come morning and you'll never see the likes of her again!" he bellowed, forcing Meg into the house. Meg threw a desperate, pleading look over her shoulder at Hercules before the house swallowed her.

AFTER PROMISING MEGAERA HIS CARE, HERCULES CONFRONTED A NOT SO ASSURED IOLAUS

      Iolaus said, "I can't believe I slept in the wood last night on the ground because you and miss ga-ga were talking all night."

      "We had a lot to talk about." Herk grinned at his pal.

      "I bet. Like, getting to know each other." Iolaus rolled his eyes. "How can you spend all night talking with a beautiful girl?"

      "Have you ever spent all night with a beautiful girl?" Hercules demanded.

      "Of course I have!" Iolaus ducked his head when Hercules glared at him. "Well, uh. . .not exactly I suppose. Your mom is beautiful and I've spent the night there."

      "Iolaus," Hercules stopped running to catch his breath. "Meg is awesome. She's the greatest girl I've ever met. Since we met I can't stop thinking about her!"

      "Well, if I were you, I would try. Something's not right about her." Iolaus blurted out. Herk narrowed his ice blue eyes.

NOW, THIS WEEK'S EPISODE:

      Cordonius knelt in front of the alter, lighting the azure blue candles as he did so. The large man's velvet tunic shimmered in the candlelight.

      "Great Hera," he prayed aloud, "Forgive my daughter for her foolish actions. I beg you for forgiveness and wisdom."

      Above the man, where the light shone down onto the display of peacock feathers, a pair of eyes matching the feathers appeared.

      "Cordonius." a deep woman's voice spoke. Terrified the man looked up.

      "Hera!"

      "Your daughter has disgraced my name and temples. The offense should be punished by Nemesis."

      "No, please, I do love her! Please, great Hera, tell me how I can make this up!"

      "Bring Megaera home. Her presence at Hestia's temple is a disgrace. Bring her home and put her to work for you."

      "What else my Queen?" he demanded.

      "If she is so intent on seeing Hercules, allow him to see her."

Act One

Hera's Pawn

Also Starring
Nathaniel Lees as Cheiron
Jodie Rimmer as Lilith
Mfundo Morrison as Theseus

Guest Starring
Rebecca Herbst as Megaera

Based on "Young Hercules"
Created by Renaissance Pictures

Assistant Producer
Euterpe

Co-Producers
Tern O'Brien & Medea

Executive Producer
Kent Simmons

Edited by Tern O'Brien

Written by Tern O'Brien & Pelee


      "Hercules, this arrived for you." Cheiron strode into the practice room where Hercules and Theseus were sparring. Iolaus, his best friend, was a few feet away working on balance drills with Lilith.

      Theseus waited while Hercules broke the scroll open. Iolaus and Lilith joined him as Herk's pale blue eyes scanned it.

      "What's that?" Iolaus asked. "Is it from Jason?"

      "No, Meg."

      Iolaus narrowed his eyes. "What does she want?"

      "She's being sent home from Hestia's temple. She was caught sneaking in the other night."

      "The other night? You saw her?" Iolaus asked. Hercules nodded absently, trying not to grin too broadly at the memory.

      "Even if she's home Herk, from what you said, her father won't let her out."

      Herk's smile vanished. "At least she'll be nearby though." he murmured.

      Meg waited anxiously for her father's carriage. The priestess had lectured her for over an hour when she was caught sneaking back in. And Hercules had been seen. A message had been sent to her father and the last two days had been spent in fear and paranoia of what he'd do. When the message came she'd be returning home, she bribed the cook to take her message to the Academy.

      The carriage appeared on the horizon and Meg's heart pounded. If her father had come along she would hear another lecture the whole way home. Hopefully her father was too busy selling his fabrics to be bothered to come and get her.

      The carriage pulled up and the old priestess joined her.

      "I regret seeing you leave, but you are not fit to be a Hestian." she said dourly. Meg nodded silently as the coachman jumped down and opened the carriage door. Silently she got in as the priestess handed a scroll to the coachman. Loading her bags silently, he shut the door and they were off.

      Hercules couldn't finish his homework, thinking about Meg and their last meeting the other night.

      "I can't stop thinking about you locked up in this place like a criminal." Hercules said quietly. Meg sighed, looking away.

      "I hate it. Everyone is so quiet and solemn. . .like they're afraid to have fun."

      "It's only for a little awhile." Hercules reminded her. "After your birthday you can leave."

      "Where will I go Hercules? I told you, I have no skills. I can barely hem my robes."

      "I'll think of something Meg. I promised you I won't let you do this alone." Hercules held her tightly, her head against his chest.

      "It's not your place Herk. You get nothing out of this."

      "I don't want anything out of this. Except you happy and free."

      Hercules looked down and Meg as she looked up and their lips met briefly before Meg pulled away. Herk couldn't speak, his heart was threatening to leap out of his body. Meg looked dazed.

      "I have to get back." she said quietly. Herk nodded and watch her vanish into the darkness.

      "Hercules, I've been calling you for five minutes."

      "Huh?" the demi-god looked up to see Lilith standing in the doorway, hands on hips.

      "You've really got it bad for this girl." Lilith noted. Herk shrugged.

      "She's special."

      "So I see. Come on, we're going to be late."

      "You will work in here, everyday. You'll do whatever Versae tells you." Cordonius boomed at Meg.

      "Yes Father." Meg murmured demurely. To be put to work in his stores was humiliating enough. But he had gone a step further, making her a seamstress and lackey to Versae, the overbearing woman who ran the shops.

      "Any trouble out of you and I'll simply throw you out on the streets. You've disgraced me enough, is that clear?"

      "Yes Father."

      "Consorting with boys after dark-while in Hestia's service!! You barely lasted a month there! My name has been smeared by you and your actions!"

      "Yes Father."

      "Take yourself home and go to bed. You'll be back here at dawn."

      "Yes Father." Meg rose quickly and left the store, wishing the walk to her house was further away. Quickly she realized she was being stared at. Word had gotten around. Not only had she left the service of one goddess, she was thrown out of another. Finally she kept her eyes down, and didn't the young man lurking until he grabbed her and pulled her into a side alley.

      "Shh." Herk whispered.

      "Hercules!" she threw her arms around the demi-god. "I didn't know if you'd get my message!"

      "Well, I did. Here I am." he grinned.

      "Don't let my father see you." she pleased. He shook his head.

      "Don't worry." he assured her, hugging her. "I had to see you."

      "What about your classes? Are you alone?" she asked. He nodded.

      "Iolaus was busy."

      "He doesn't want us together you know." she said.

      Shrugging, Herk replied, "He'll get over it. I'm more concerned about you."

      "I'll be ok. You're nearby." she smiled at him.

      "Maybe if I approach your father, and just talk to him-"

      "He won't listen Hercules. He's too bullheaded." Meg said sadly. "I better leave. If he gets back before I do. . ."

      "Be careful. You know how to reach me."

      "Thanks." she murmured. Hercules kissed her on the cheek before she left.

Act Two

      "So you're the young man that's been sniffing around my daughter." Cordonius circled Hercules, sizing him up. Of course he knew who the half god was. How had Meg entrapped him? No matter. Hera must be kept happy and if she wanted her stepson to see his daughter, then so be it.

      "I'm very fond of Megaera." Hercules replied nervously.

      "So much so you would lure her out of the temple of Hestia in the middle of the night?"

      "No, sir-"

      "Be quiet boy. More than likely my daughter lured you. She's been known to give her favors away after dark." Cordonius said thoughtfully, repeating what Hera had told him to say. She had been right. That struck a chord with the boy.

      "It wasn't like that!" he snapped his mouth shut. Cordonius finally settled into a plush chair.

      "All right boy. I'll allow you to see my daughter. But on a limited basis. She's going to be working for me and I won't have you coming around distracting her."

      "Yes sir." Hercules was shocked. What had brought on the change of heart?

      "Maybe she can keep you around a little while."

      "Yes sir."

      Hercules left the house, overwhelmed with joy and confusion.

      "Herk, watch your back. I don't trust him." Iolaus said.

      "Iolaus, what is it with you?" Hercules turned to his best friend in frustration. "Cut her some slack!"

      "None of this makes sense! Why did he suddenly change his mind?"

      "I don't know but I'm not going to question it! He's letting me see her!"

      "Herk, I saw her today. She still wears her pendant of Hera."

      "Old habits die hard Iolaus, you know that better than anyone." Hercules snapped.

      Lilith leaned against the door frame watching the standoff.

      "I hope you know what you're getting into." Iolaus sighed. Herk stepped towards his friend menacingly.

      "Back off Iolaus! You're just jealous!"

      The demi-god stormed out of the room past Lilith, leaving a furious Iolaus behind.

      "That was pretty intense." Lilith strolled in. Iolaus shook his head.

      "This doesn't feel right Lil. There's something very, very wrong with this picture."

      "Tomorrow you will finish today's work and you will not come until you do!" Cordonius bellowed. Meg held her cheek where he had struck her. Holding back her tears she whispered an affirmative and fled to her room.

      Laying on her bed she wept softly. In Hestia's temple she had been a nobody, but it was preferable to the abuse she was suffering here. If only she hadn't met Hercules.

      Wiping her tears away she sat up and crossed the room to a curtain. Pulling the curtain aside she looked down at the dusty altar, covered in blue candles and peacock feathers. Swallowing hard, she lit the candles.

      "Hera," she murmured, "I have no right to ask for your protection, but please. . .help me."

Act Three

      "Palace food man. I can't wait!" Iolaus was three steps ahead of Lilith and Hercules.

      "No wonder Jason only invites you guys every so often. Iolaus would eat the castle to the ground." Lilith snickered. When Hercules didn't answer she turned to glance at him. "What's with you?"

      "Nothing. I'm just preoccupied." Herk snapped. Lilith raised one eyebrow.

      "You know, Iolaus is more fun to hang out with you these days." she remarked, walked to catch up with the curly haired cadet.

      Hercules walked slower. Later tonight, he could see Meg. He had sent a message to her that he would be in Corinth for the weekend.

      Watching Iolaus practically running for the castle, Hercules had to chuckle. Iolaus would never change. Then his smile vanished. If only Iolaus would give Meg a chance, he'd see how great of a person she was. Herk knew Iolaus had been hurt when Hercules didn't tell him that he had seen Meg. And Hercules hated hiding stuff from his best friend.

      "Come on Herk! The palace girls are waiting to be charmed by us!" Iolaus hollered back to him.

      "The only thing you might charm Iolaus is the cook by eating so much." Lilith laughed. "When the girls smell you coming they'll run for the hills!"

      "You're just jealous Lil cause I don't shower my attention to you."

      "Jealous my foot! I'm an amazon remember? And since when you do you shower?"

      "How can I forget? You're always reminding me!"

      Hercules shut them out, thinking of Meg.

      Wearily Meg stood from the chair where she had spent the day sewing garments. Versae, her supervisor stormed in.

      "Where are you going?"

      "I'm done." Meg said tiredly.

      "Oh no you're not. You still have that pile to do!"

      "But-it's time for me to go!"

      "It's time for you to go when you're finished. So sit yourself back down missy and get working!" Versae snapped, storming from the room.

      Meg sunk back to the chair and wept. With her lack of sewing skills it would be midnight before she was done. And she so wanted to see Hercules tonight.

      Wiping her tears on her sleeve she picked up the next tunic and began to stitch dutifully. At least she didn't have to deal with the market today.

      Yesterday she had picked out some fruit and when the dealer demanded his money, she politely told him to put it on her father's credit. The mistake had almost cost her a hand. Another merchant recognized her and intervened.

      Walking to the shop today she had seen the whispers and giggles. So she made a mistake. . .after spending almost her entire life in a temple, what was to be expected? She knew nothing of the rules of society.

      Rolling her head to relieve the tension in her neck, Meg squinted in the dying light at the fabric.

      "I can't believe we're at the palace, surrounded by beautiful girls and you're going to go off and see Meg." Iolaus snapped. Herk glared at his best friend.

      "You can have them Iolaus. The only one I want is Meg."

      "Why? She's Hera's servant!"

      "Not any more Iolaus! How many times do I have to tell you that?"

      "And how many times do I have to tell you she's trouble?" Iolaus demanded. Hercules towered over his friend menacingly.

      "You're jealous, Iolaus!"

      "Of what? Of being used my stepmother's minion?" Iolaus asked. Hercules grabbed the shorter boy and threw him backwards. Iolaus hit the wall and growled at Hercules, charging the demi-god.

      "I'm sick of you trying to run my life!" Hercules yelled as Iolaus tackled him to the ground.

      "I'm sick of watching you try to ruin it! You're my best friend!" Iolaus shouted as Hercules pinned him to the ground. Iolaus grabbed him by the shoulders and flipped the taller boy over him, getting to his feet.

      "ENOUGH!" Jason got between them, blocking Iolaus from Hercules. Lilith stepped in front of Hercules.

      "I'm sick of him! All he does is harp on Meg!" Hercules yelled.

      "He's being used and he's too blind to see it!" Iolaus shouted back.

      "Cool it both of you!" Jason held Iolaus back. "This is ridiculous! You two are fighting over a girl!"

      "She's not just a girl Jason, she's special!" Hercules growled.

      "Lilith, get him out of here. Iolaus come with me." Jason overpowered the smaller boy and dragged him form the room.

      "Forget it." Hercules snarled, leaving through another door. "I have to go see someone."

Act Four

      Rubbing her shoulder Meg walked home slowly. Temples pounding from being closed up in a small room all day, no fresh air had taken its toll on her. Walking felt so good.

      As she neared her house she saw the tall, thin figure waiting near it.

      "Hercules." she whispered. The boy saw her and came forward, lifting her up in a hug.

      "I was starting to think you didn't get my message."

      "I had to. . .work." she said.

      Hercules studied her with alarm. Dark circles rimmed her eyes and when he took her hands, felt the little blisters on her soft fingers.

      "What are you doing?" he asked.

      "Father is making me work in his shop, sewing. To keep me out of the way." she replied wearily.

      Cordonius peeked through the curtain outside. Yes, they were together. Hera would be very pleased.

      "When do you have to get up for work?" Hercules asked. Meg sighed. They were sitting on the front porch, on the steps to her father's house.

      "Sometime around dawn." she replied sleepily, her head resting on his shoulder.

      "Then I'm going to leave you now. Because dawn isn't that far away and you need to rest." he said quietly. They had spoke in whispers so as not disturb her family, though Hercules knew they were being watched. He could feel the intense eyes boring into his back.

      "Come back tomorrow night. Seeing you makes it easier." she smiled at him.

      "Of course." Hercules stood and hugged Meg tightly. "I'll come as often as I can."

      Meg looked at him and impulsively he kissed her gently, his heart pounding.

      "Goodnight." he whispered. Smiling at him, she was swallowed up by the house.

      "Bestowing favors on the boy are we?" Cordonius grabbed her by the arm. Meg winced.

      "No father. It wasn't-"

      "I don't care what it was. You've already disgraced my good name, so what's to stop you now?" he snapped. Meg fled to her room, to her altar.

      "Great Hera," she began, her hands trembling as she lit the candles, "Great Hera, hear me. Please, help me. I never meant to offend you. Please, don't turn your back on me."

      Two of the feathers on her altar began to glow and Hera's quiet voice entered the room.

      "Megaera, my child, you were always my favorite."

      "Hera!" Meg whispered, her tears spilling over. "Have you forgiven me?"

      "Not quite my child. To leave my service is an unforgivable insult."

      "I'm sorry." Meg bowed her head. "I just couldn't agree to all the revenge."

      "I understand. That's one reason you were my favorite. . .you followed your heart." Hera's honey coated voice soother Meg's nerves immediately. "Perhaps we can work something out after all."

      "Anything, great Hera, anything to be in your graces again." the girl breathed.

      "I see you're developing quite a relationship with Hercules."

      Meg's heart pounded. To incur the wrath of Hera . . .

      "Yes Hera."

      "I've been watching you two."

      "Don't hurt him Hera. Please. When I'm with him I'm so happy!"

      "You didn't let me finish Megaera."

      "I'm sorry." she whispered, bowing her head again.

      "Watching you with him has made me realize he can not be faulted for his father's actions. I give you my blessing to be with him."

      "Oh Hera! Thank you!" Meg's face burst into a smile.

      "Your father does not understand this. Bear with his harshness Megaera, I will take care of you."

      "Oh thank you great Hera!"

      "One more thing Megaera."

      "Yes?"

      "Do not mention this conversation to Hercules. I don't think he would be happy about it."

      "Even though you want us to be together?" Meg asked, confused.

      "Yes."

      "Very well my goddess. Your wish is my command."

      The glowing peacock feathers dimmed. Feeling lighter and happy, Meg rose from her kneeling position and headed to bed.

      Hercules strolled into the palace that night with a big toothy grin on his face humming a tune softly under his breath. He felt so alive.

      Truly, it amazed him how one person could such a difference in someone's life could make someone feel so blissful. Hercules thought that he knew love when he fell for Eurydice. But, his love for Eurydice paled in comparison to what he felt for Meg. With Meg words failed him. The overwhelming feelings of love he felt towards this wonderful girl were unexplainable. He felt so connected to her. Meg understood him on so many levels. When Herk spoke, she'd finish his sentences for him. In all of his life, he had never felt so linked to another human like this before. It was like they shared one mind, one heart and maybe even one soul?

      Could she be my soul mate? The one? He silently pondered to himself.

      Herk didn't know but the idea intrigued him deeply. Merrily, he strolled into the bunkroom feeling like he was the nineteenth cloud up from the ninth only to come face to face with Iolaus. The smile on Hercules' face faltered. Standing by his bunk bed, Iolaus' eyes narrowed and he stared straight into Herk's eyes, waiting for him to say something. Tension filled the air around them, threatening to suffocate anyone who dared to enter the room.

      "Hey Iolaus," Herk said quietly, shattering the silence.

      Breaking eye contact, he walked over to his bunk to get ready for bed. Herk didn't want to deal with Iolaus for the moment. Although he didn't want to be at odds with his best bud, it hurt him deeply that Iolaus couldn't be happy for him. Herk couldn't believe that his own best friend could let jealousy get in the way of their friendship. Especially after all that they had been through. The thought of it made his blood boil.

      No, he told himself, let it go. Tonight with Meg was just wonderful. I won't spoil the mood I'm in with anger or Iolaus' jealousy.

      Iolaus watched Hercules get ready for bed in disbelief.

      So that's what our friendship means after all of this time? He doesn't even care to patch things up with me. It was never like this beforeshecame along. Iolaus fumed to himself silently.

      "Hey Iolaus," Iolaus said, mimicking Herk, "Is that all you have to say to me?? Fine. Whatever! I am so tired of trying to get through to you about the dangers of being involved with that girl!"

      Sitting down on his bunk bed, Iolaus took up a big scroll on Greek History next to him and began looking over it pretending to read it.

      "Iolaus! For the love of the Gods, please don't start with me! I don't want to argue with you about Meg anymore! I know you're jealous because I'm in love and you're not but just be patient! I'm sure some girl just as wonderful as Meg will come along and make you happy as I am! There's no need for you to be acting so immature and try to bust up my happiness."

      Iolaus slowly looked up at Hercules intensely glaring at him. Reaching his boiling point, Iolaus' face turned red.

      "Don't you dare patronize me like that! You sound so condescending, it makes me wanna vomit! You get one thing straight pal," Iolaus continued dead serious, "I am concerned about you falling head over heels in love with this girl that you barely know. The only fact that you do know about her is that she used to be a priestess for Hera; one of Hera's mindless boot lackeys! That should be enough reason to send you running for the hills! I am concerned that you will get hurt! I am not jealous! I am worried, period! Well, at least I was concerned. Now I don't give one bleeding Satyr about what you plan on doing with that-that Hera loving-"

      Hercules grabbed Iolaus by his vest and lifted the shorter young man up.

      "Don't Iolaus. . .don't you say anything bad about Meg or so help me Gods-"

      Iolaus scoffed and broke Herk's grip, landing nimbly on his feet.

      "So help me Gods what Herk? You'll do what to me? Hurt me? Over what? This girl who probably works for Hera? I don't believe this! Do you realize what you are doing? You're throwing away our friendship over a pretty face! You're a fool Hercules! A fool in love. Take some advice Herk and forget about Meg before she becomes your downfall."

      Hercules glared daggers at Iolaus.

      "Well, better to be a fool in love than a pathetic loser living in his almighty General Daddy's shadow! You're not even man enough to lick your father's filthy boots! What makes you think that you're man enough to give advice to me on love anyway? Huh? You don't even know the first thing about it! Instead of running to you, all the girls run away from you! Hmm, I wonder why? Oh gee! It couldn't be your sparkling personality since you don't have one!"

      Iolaus shook his head in disgust. Looking at Herk, right now at this moment, he didn't recognize the complete stranger in front of him. Temper exploding, Iolaus stepped up to Herk, getting into his face.

      "Well at least my love isn't cursed! Everyone you ever loved or cared about dies on you! You're jinxed! And my father might not be the best dad in the whole world and I might not be the best son in the world but at least I know somewhere deep down inside he loves me! Hades! He loves me enough to come and visit sometime! Can you say the same Herk?? When was the last time your Daddy came to see you?" Iolaus cupped his ear with his hand. "What's that Herk? What did you say? Never?? You don't even know what your own father looks like! He could even be the outhouse maintenance man for all you know, you low down, dirty, son of a Bacchae, mother- "

      "Again??" Jason said incredulously standing in the doorway.

      Iolaus and Herk fell silent for a second turning their attention to Jase. Both of them looked down when they realized what they had been yelling.

      "Silence!" Jason yelled taking charge of the situation. "Enough already! I thought we worked this out a while ago. The three of us have been through far too much to let one girl break up our friendship. Now, stop this nonsense and apologize to each other!"

      Herk glared at Iolaus.

      Sneering he said, "I'm sorry."

      Iolaus glared back at Herk.

      "Yeah, so am I," he said bitterly. "I'm out of here."

      Iolaus walked past Jase to the door.

      "Hey! Where are you going?" Jase hollered after him.

      "Anywhere but here! The last place I wanna be, right now, is here with him." he spat over his shoulder.

      He continued to walk outside of the room and down the hallway.

      Jase turned back to Herk and said, "Well, at least I can talk some more to. . ." He paused when he saw Herk getting dressed. "And where are you going Herk??"

      "Out! The last place I wanna be is here when he gets back!"

      Hercules stormed out of the room and walked down the hallway in the opposite direction of Iolaus.

      Jason sighed and flopped himself down on his bunk bed.

      "The last place I wanna be is in the middle of all of this!"

Act Five

      In the middle of the night, the young king of Corinth woke up with a start. Sitting up in bed, he looked around the room. Jase saw his two best friends both respectively sleeping soundly in their beds. Looking at them solemnly, he sighed. He wasn't too sure what he could do to patch things up between the two of them.

      This by far was the worst fight he had witness happen between Herk and Iolaus. Jase hoped that maybe in the morning things would be better. Hopefully they would be willing to talk to one another and work things out but he doubted it. From the small part of the argument he heard between them, what transpired was intense and damaging.

      Jase listened to the wind outside howl. The way it shrieked sent an involuntary shiver up and down his spine.

      Hmm. . .so that's what woke me up, he thought to himself yawning.

      Jase laid back down on his pillow pulling the covers over him.

      How strange. I could have sworn I heard someone laughing. Oh well, must have been part of my dream.

      Jase drifted back to sleep.

      Outside the Academy, when the winds died down a little, a woman's dark and hideous laughter corrupted the night air. Falling slowly to the ground, as if it had all the time in the world, was a single peacock feather. The colors shimmered and shone in the cold moonlight.

THE PRODUCERS


KENT SIMMONS


TERN O'BRIEN AND MEDEA

Credits

Co-Starring

Cordonius: Terry Batchelor
Versae: Ilona Rodgers
Hera's Voice: Meg Foster

Creative Team
Aura
Barb Soden
Euterpe
Kalina
Kaya
Kent Simmons
Maggie Z
Medea
Pelee
Tern O'Brien
Thalia

Edit and Proof Read
Pelee
Tern O'Brien
Tracy Viader

Special Thanks To
Ed Naha
Mrinda Jez
Saderah

Technical Assistance
Jose Estreda

Young Hercules and its characters are © by Renaissance Pictures, USA Network, and
Studios USA. This fan fiction story, and virtual season project, are nonprofit and we by
no means want or intend to infringe copyrights of the characters and the television series.

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Please do not repost any of this fan fiction episode without the
permission of the Author and Producers.

Once again, Iolaus was not harmed during the writing, but much sumlater on...

1999/2005 lWo Fan Fiction Productions