The New Cadet Series #2:
The Rescue


By Bryn Ensomhet


Rating: G
Disclaimer: Young Hercules and the rest of his crew belong to Rennassance and USA studios. Bryn and Holly belong to me. Vanessa, Pelee, Kalina, Tern, Aura, Euterpe, and LÚda belong to the YHU cadets with those names.
Summary: Discord kidnaps Iolaus to try and get Herc to sacrifice himself.
Author's Note: The sequel to 'TNCS #1: One Life to Live'. This is placed before I get engaged to Ares, and uses characters from the Young Hercules Acadamy. I origionally wrote this story as a gift to some of my friends, and as an explanation to the forum of my history. It's mainly for cadets from the YHU (Young Hercules University a.k.a. Young Hercules Academy a.k.a. Cheiron's Academy), but if you're not a cadet, you can still understand and enjoy the story.


She sat in the shadows of the Academy, watching the cadets go on about their daily buisness. Okay, so she was a little envious of them. Envious that they had normal lives, that they weren't fallen gods who had lost everything they used to have. They weren't cursed by the Queen of the Gods.

Holly sighed. It had been several years since her powers had been taken away, and she really should be over it by now. At least Hera hadn't turned her into a mortal. Holly stood and stretched, arching her back before stretching her front legs, and then her back legs. Lifting her tail high, she walked down the hallway towards her charge's room.

Bryn looked up from the scroll she was reading, and saw a siamese cat enter her room. "Hey Holly." she greeted her guardian. Bryn was an orphan and had been living in the future with her aunt before she time-travled to (from her point of view) Ancient Greece and discovered she was the Goddess of Unrequited Love and fell in love with Ares. To make a long story short, Bryn had decided to live in Greece instead of returning home, was Aphrodite's ward and would one day become one of Dite's flunkies. Right now, though, she was enrolled in Chiron's Academy to learn more about this world. Holly, who had been a friend to Dite while she was a goddess, was now employed as Bryn's guardian since the Goddess of Love had more important things than taking care of a teenage goddess 24/7, but Bryn and Holly were more like best friends rather than guardian and ward.

"Bryn." Holly greeted her as she jumped up on Bryn's cot. "What are you reading?"

The female cadet shrugged. "A ballad about Cronos defeating the Titans." she carefully rolled up the scroll and laid it next to her bed, yawning even though it was still early afternoon. "I was just getting some more studying in."

Holly shook her head. Tests were in two weeks and all the cadets seemed determined to run themselves ragged. "Why don't you take a break?"

Bryn thougth about that for a moment, then gave in. Nodding her agreement, she wandered out of her room and down the hall, leaving Holly in her room.

Pelee came up to Bryn, looking almost as tired. "I didn't see you in the cafeteria. Were you studying through lunch?" Pelee asked.

Bryn nodded, deciding not to say that goddesses didn't have to eat.

Just then Vanessa joined them. "Wanna go for a walk to Corinth with me later?" Bryn practically jumped at the chance to escape the burned-out feeing that seemed to permeate the academy. Pelee decided to come too. They agreed to meet in one hour in front on the Academy.

~~~~~

Iolaus and Hercules were heading to Monster Awareness class, but Iolaus' mind was on a more enjoyable topic. He was amazed at how many girls had enrolled in the Academy after Lilith. There was Tern, Aura, Euterpe, Bryn... It was almost hard for him to remember all of their names! Publicly, he thought all the girls were great and really nice. Privately, he guessed that he really only thought of dating two of them. The two girls he thought he might have real feelings for were Pelee and Kalina. But he had no idea if either one returned his feelings. Pelee was so fun-loving that it was hard to tell what she was feeling. And Kalina! She was giving such strange signals! One minute she seemed to almost dare him to ask her on a date, and the next minute she acts as if she's completely frightened of him. He didn't understand girls at all. All he understood was that his heart did a little jump when he saw either Pelee or Kalina.

Just then Bryn caught up to them. "Hey Herc... Pelee, Vanessa and I are going on a walk later. We might not get back til tomorrow. Could you tell Chiron that if he asks?"

"Sure." Herc replied.

"If you two will excuse me, I'm heading over the Tern's to get a cup of that Berry Madness." Iolaus mumbled as he walked off.

~~~~~

Bryn sat on the fence that went around the Academy. She had cleared her small vacation with Holly, and now checked the position of the sun once again. Aproximently fifteen minutes until Vanessa and Pelee were due to show up. Just then she felt a strange change in the wind. She looked around and saw what had caused it. "Hello, Discord," She said to the dark-haired Goddess. "What are you doing out here? I thought you spoiled in the sun."

"Oh ha, ha." Discord replied sarcastically. "Actually, I came to see what you were doing out here on the fence."

"I bet." Bryn said under her breath. "I was just waiting for a couple of friends. We're going for a walk and probably won't be back till tomorrow." Bryn said to Discord. She still had a rather large crush on Ares, and knew she would have to put up with his flunkies, but that didn't keep her from telling Discord her feelings in no uncertian terms. "You're not invited."

Discord feigned disappointment. "And I wanted so much to spend the whole day with you!" She pretended to moan. She disappeared, just as Pelee and Vanessa arrived.

"Ready to go?" Vanessa asked.

"Oh, yes." Bryn sighed in relief.

~~~~~

Discord chuckled to herself. "Bryn, Pelee and that brat Vanessa are going to be gone until tomorrow! How wonderful! Before they get back, Hercules will be dead. Forever! Ha ha ha ha ha!" She shrieked. Discord went over her plan as Bryn, Pelee, and Vanessa walked away. "Step one: Bryn leaves," Discord murmured. "Check! Now on to step two." She said with a giggle.

~~~~~

"Hey, Herc?" LÚda asked. "Have you seen Bryn anywhere?"

"Yeah," He answered. "She just left to go on a walk to Corinth with Vanessa and Pelee. She won't be back til morning."

"Great!" LÚda said. "I can still catch up to her!" She turned towards the door just as Bryn walked through.

"Bryn!" Herc exclaimed. "What are you doing here? I thought you were going on that walk!"

"I decided to not go." Bryn said snobbily. "I didn't feel like it."

"But you seemed...." Herc was cut off as Bryn gave him a fierce look.

"I don't want to talk about it, okay?" She said. "Just leave me alone." She said as she walked down the hallway.

As soon as she got around a corner, Discord took her own form again. "Gods!" she murmured to herself. "It's hard work to pretend to be Bryn. Especially with Hercules asking questions.

"Well I'll soon be rid of him." she smiled.

~~~~~

The walk was tiring. They were only halfway there when Bryn had this funny feeling. "You guys," She said. "I think I'll head back now. I have this funny feeling that something is wrong." She told them about the conversation with and they all agreed that Discord was probally up to no good. Vanessa would continue going to Cornth as she was planning. Pelee and Bryn would go back to the Academy to see what Discord was doing.

~~~~~

Iolaus was surprised when Bryn asked him to go on a walk through the woods. It was starting to get dark, but he decided to go. They walked in silence for about a half hour. Iolaus was so engrossed with his own thoughts that he didn't realize it when Bryn stopped walking. But the fall brought him back to his senses. For a fleeting moment he thought he had seen Discord above him, but then his head hit a rock and everything went black.

~~~~~

As Herc got ready for bed, he started wondering where Iolaus was. "He's been out for way too long for a simple walk." Then he saw Bryn and Pelee walking towards the Academy.

"Hi Herc!" Bryn smiled.

"Hey Bryn." he asked questionaly. "Where did you find Pelee? And where is Iolaus?"

Bryn's smile turned into genuine concern. "Why would I know where Iolaus is? I just got back from the walk with Pelee and Vanessa." A cold knot developed in the pit of her stomach. "Are you saying that you saw me go on a walk with Iolaus today?"

"Yeah. At least, that's what Iolaus told me before he left. But I did see you come back not too long after you left on your walk to Corinth. You said you'd decided not to go. What's going on?" Herc said.

"Discord." Bryn spat out the word. "Now I see why she was so happy to hear that I was leaving. She pretended to be me and must have Iolaus hidden somewhere."

~~~~~

Bryn, Herc, Kalina, Pelee, and LÚda made plans to split up and look for Iolaus. "Since Herc said they were going for a walk, Iolaus is probably out in the woods somewhere. And remember..." Bryn added as they left, "Discord might try to pretend to be one of us to get us off track. So let's agree to meet here in two hours." She watched the others leave and when they were gone, she went over to talk to the goddess that was standing hidden in the corner.

"I'm sorry, Holly. I realize that tonight's the full moon and the night that you can take human form, but I'm afraid I can't join you out on the town. Discord has done something with Iolaus and I've got to help find him."

"That's alright." Holly replied. "Why don't I help too? I'm not as fast as when I'm in my cat form, but I can still see well in the dark."

"Oh, will you?" Bryn exclaimed. "We really need all the help we can get."

"I'll look for him. And if he's in the woods, I'll find him." They hugged briefly and went into the woods.

~~~~~

Holly was skilled as a huntress. She was able to see everything around her, even though it was pitch black. There were a few advantages of Hera having turned her into a cat. She scouted the densest part of the forest. Suddenly, she stumbled upon a kind of crude path. Following it, she sensed someone was watching. But she forgot about that when she came across a pit with a body laying in the bottom of it. "Iolaus!" she called, recognizing him. Iolaus didn't move.

"So, you finally figured it out!" Discord spoke from behind Holly. Holly whirled around, and Discord exclaimed, "What? Wrong girl. Darn." Then she smiled wickedly. "Well, I'm glad to say that since you were the first to find the annoying mortal, you win the booby prize."

"What's the booby prize?" Holly asked suspiciously.

"This!" Discord shrieked as she pushed Holly into the pit. "Glad to have you visiting, but I'm sorry I can't stay." Discord called down. "I've got a half-god to kill." she said as she disappeared.

Holly landed on her feet, but pretended to lay flat to fool Discord. As soon as the goddess left, Holly got up, checked herself for injuries."None." she smiled ruefully. "Now on to Iolaus." She checked his head first. There was a tiny trail of blood from where a rock had hit it. Holly was afraid that Iolaus might have either a broken neck, a concussion, or something worse. But he *was* breathing. There was nothing Holly could do until Iolaus woke up and told her where he was hurt. So she sat back, and waited.

~~~~~

Two hours passed. Bryn and the others met back at the front of the Academy. No one had seen Iolaus. They were trying to work out another plan, when they heard someone speak. "Oh, don't tell me you guys can't figure it out!" Discord said disappointedly.

"What did you do with Iolaus?" Herc said, hatred and anger mixing in his expression.

"I captured him." Discord replied. "Surely you knew *that* by now."

Bryn spoke up. "Tell us."

A smile played on Discord's lips. "He's safe and sound...for now. If Hercules doesn't sacrifice himself by dawn, though, I'll be forced to hurt your precious cadet. And the girl with him."

Everyone except Discord and Bryn looked at each other questionably. "What girl with him?" Pelee finally asked.

"Oh, nobody. I figured she was just another cadet looking for Iolaus. She must just have been an innocent bystander." Discord paused, and then spoke to Herc. "Good for me. That gives you twice the incentive to get this over soon. Well, I've got to go!" Discord said, beginning to disappear.

Bryn was the first to act. "No you don't!" She yelled, grabbing on to Discord's wrist. Then Bryn started to sense that by grabbing on, she was going with Discord. Bryn knew she couldn't fight Discord alone, and called out to LÚda. "Help!" LÚda grabbed her extended hand and all three disappeared. Only Pelee, Kalina, and Herc were left in the room.

"We'd better go out again and look for Iolaus." Kalina said to Pelee.

"I'm in." Pelee replied. They started running out the door when they heard Herc's voice.

"Hey, I'm coming too!"

Pelee spun on her heel, facing Herc. "No, you're not. You need to stay in the Academy."

Herc began to interrupt, but Pelee kept going. "In case Bryn and LÚda come back and need some help. We'll find Iolaus." Herc agreed reluctantly and went back to the academy, while Pelee and Kalina went off into the woods.

~~~~~

Iolaus opened his eyes. The first two things he took in the starry sky way above him, and the splitting headache. He tried to remember where he was, and slowly it came back to him: Bryn, the walk, the fall, the rock... and finally, "Discord."

He sat up, trying to see what was in the pit around him. "Nothing really." he said as he noted the grass, the dirt, the sandals, the bugs. Then his mind did a little jump. "Sandals." He said again to himself, as he looked to examine the sandals. They were girl's sandals. In the sandals were girl's feet, attached to girl's legs, and so on, until he had noticed every detail of the teenage girl sitting, asleep, in the corner opposite him. The moonlight shone on her, so he could see her fairly well. She wasn't a cadet, he was sure. She had painted nails, but they were different from each other. The nails on her left hand and right foot were dark brown, while the nails on her right hand and left foot were black with specks of gray. "Huh." he murmmured. And then there was her hair, which was blond with strands of black intermingling.

But at the sound of his voice, she stirred. "Oh!" She exclaimed, seeing him watching her. "You're awake! I was afraid you might have been in a coma."

Iolaus was wary. "Who are you?"

She came towards him. "My name is Holly. Mind if I take a look, to see if anything's broken?" she said.

Iolaus was still wary of her. "Are you a healer, or something?" he asked her.

"Well, you've got to know *some* healing to be the Goddess of Compassion." she replied.

"Goddess? You're a goddess?" Iolaus said in disbelief. "Then you can get us out of here!"

"Actually, no." Holly said quietly. "Hera took most of my powers away when she punished me. But I can still heal pretty well." she finished.

"Alright." Iolaus finally said, and let her examin him. She gingerly squeezed his wrist, checking his pulse.

"Feels normal, if not a little fast." she said, eyeing him suspiciously. Iolaus blushed, glad to be in the darkest corner of the pit so she couldn't see his face.

"Can you feel everything from your head to your toes?" She asked him.

"Yeah. But I do have a giant of a headache." he sheepishly replied.

"Good." Holly stated. "That means you don't have any spinal damage. And you should have a headache. That means you're going to be fine. Just get some rest now." She said, returning back to her corner as Iolaus fell into a deep sleep.

~~~~~

Bryn looked around her. She and LÚda were in Aries temple and Bryn was hoping to take a few minutes and look for Ares, but there was a far more important matter at hand. Discord was giving them a look that could kill. "How DARE you grab my wrist!" She screamed. She lunged towards Bryn, knocking her to the ground. They started rolling on the floor, and LÚda had to jump as to not get knocked over. Bryn pushed Discord away, and whispered in LÚda's ear. "I have an idea. You crouch on the floor the moment I say 'duck!' okay?"

LÚda answered, "Got it."

Discord was back on her feet by then. "You'll pay for this!" she shreked at the two girls. Then she tried shooting an energy bolt at them. LÚda and Bryn leapt opposite ways, the bolt crackling between them. Discord focused on putting an energy bolt through LÚda.

Bryn stood up and pushed the candalabra that was hanging between her and Discord as hard as she could. "DUCK!" She yelled to LÚda. As LÚda crouched low, Discord turned, trying to see what Bryn was doing.

"BAM!" The chandilier knocked right into Discord. She spralled on the ground, face down. LÚda gave an amazon war cry as she jumped on top of Discord, pinning her to the ground.

"Now repeat after me..." Bryn started. "I, Discord, will leave Hercules alone for the next five months."

"Don't forget Iolaus." LÚda suggested.

Bryn grinned, "Gosh, yes. You will leave Hercules and Iolaus alone for the next five months."

"One." Discord said.

"Four." LÚda bargained from on top of Discord.

"Two." Discord replied snidely.

"Three. And that's my final offer."

Discord thought about it for a sec, "Well..."

LÚda gave her an elbow in the back.

"Alright, alright! I'll leave Hercules and Iolaus alone for the next three months. Now GET OFF ME!!!!"

Bryn shrugged and LÚda let Discord go. As soon as she was free, Discord disappeared.

"You know she'll probably break her word." LÚda said as she stood up.

"Yeah...but it was fun, wasn't it?" Bryn said.

They looked at each other and burst out laughing. wiping tears out of her eyes, LÚda asked, "Now how are we going to get back to the Academy?"

Bryn grinned, "Ready to be zapped?"

~~~~~

The sun was starting to rise, and still no Iolaus. Pelee was racing along. Kalina asked her best friend, "Where do you think we should start looking?"

Pelee answered, "If I go by Bryn's original plan, all the forest was searched except for the densest part. I think we should start there."

"Agreed." Kalina replied. As they ran deeper into the forest, they saw a really unkept path.

"Wanna follow it?" Pelee questioned.

Kalina glanced worriedly at the rising sun. "Why not? It's our only lead." she replied. They followed it until they came to what they were looking for. The pit. They saw Iolaus laying in the bottom of it. "Iolaus!" the two girls cried at the same time.

Iolaus heard his name and looked up, half-dazed. "Pelee! Kalina! Am I ever glad to see you guys!" Kalina and Pelee gathered vines to make a ladder. Then they helped Iolaus out. They were about to head back to the academy whan Iolaus stopped.

"What about the girl?" he asked them. "Didn't you get her out of the pit, too?"

Pelee and Kalina exchanged glances, hoping no mental damage had been done. "There was no girl in the pit." Kalina said at last.

"No. There was." Iolaus persisted.

Pelee went back down the ladder. She looked, and found a sleeping cat in a corner. Pelee gingerly picked up the cat and climbed back out of the pit.

"No girl." she said to Kalina and Iolaus. "Just this cat."

Kalina spoke up. "Isn't that Bryn's cat, Holly?" she asks Pelee.

"You know, I think you're right!" Pelee agreed. The threesome, with the cat, walked back to the Academy.

Iolaus was stunned as he walked. Holly. That was the name of the girl that was in the pit. The goddess. He snuck a look at the cat. Blond and black hair. And this was just as strange. The cat's left front leg and right back leg were dark brown, as the right front leg and the left back leg were black, speckled with gray. "Huh." Iolaus murmured to himself as he walked.

~~~~~

Herc was sitting as he waited. It was getting lighter every minute. Maybe Chiron would give him this day to sleep, since Herc hadn't slept at all. Then, all of a sudden, LÚda and Bryn materialized in front of him. They were laughing.

"Hey!" Bryn said, spotting Herc. "What are you doing here?"

"Waiting to see if you two needed any help with Discord. I guess you didn't."

"That's sure right!" LÚda said, and explained what had happened to them. "Bryn got Discord to leave you and Iolaus alone for three months!" she concluded.

"It was nothing." Bryn said humbly. "I couldn't have done it with out LÚda."

"By the way." she asked Herc, "Where's Pelee and Kalina?"

"They're still looking for Iolaus." Herc replied.

"We should probably see if they need any help." LÚda said.

The threesome ran out of the academy, just in time to see Pelee, Iolaus, Kalina, and a cat walking on the path towards the academy. They greeted Iolaus, and while they were doing that, Pelee and Kalina were whispering to each other intently.

Iolaus saw this and asked them, "What are you two talking about?"

They smiled, and Pelee began explaining. "We've decided that since we both like you..."

"...and neither one of us want to give you up..." Kalina continued.

"...We've decided that we are going to share you." Pelee finished.

Iolaus smiled. "Gosh. Looks like that decision was made for me!" he said to Herc, Bryn, and LÚda. Then he turned to his two admirers. "Well, I owe you my life, and so I give you the best thing I have to give. A kiss." and he leaned over to deeply kiss each of the two.

Just then the group saw Vanessa walking towards them. "I decided to come back too." she explained. "So, what did I miss?"


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