They slowly made their way back towards the big metal door

They slowly made their way back towards the big metal door. Anyway, that's where they hoped they were heading. They heard footsteps up ahead and a dwarf appeared in front of them. Hercules recognized Master Furze right away. The dwarf carried something in his arms.

"Hey! Wait up!" Hercules cried as they tried to catch up with Furze.

Master Furze stopped and turned around. "Oh, it you. You find creature?"

"Yeah!" Iolaus said loudly, his voice angry. "It's your lousy berry plants! They're carnivorous! The roots are eating the miners and it's your entire fault! And look what they did to Jason!"

"Meat eating? Oh my! Me no idea!" Master Furze said as he fell against the wall. Shock was cleanly written all over his face. The basket he carried tumbled to the floor and something fell out.

"That's not another berry plant, is it?" Iolaus asked suspiciously.

"This?" Furze stooped and picked up the item from his basket. "Oh, of course not! This new! Me find in the lower caves. Sweet honey plant. Me no think of name yet. You want to try?"

"NO!" All three cadets shouted.

"Do you know how to get out of here?" Hercules asked. "We're lost and have no idea where we're going."

"Door be over there." Master Furze led them to the door and pounded on it. Soon it opened and they gladly passed through the doorway. "What wrong with your friend? He looked OK earlier."

"He's addicted to your berries!" Iolaus shouted.

"Hmm...no good for human. Dwarf eat only." Furze stated to himself. "Gotta remember that."

"Look, no one is going to eat those berries! We have to destroy the plants before they eat more people." Hercules said as he rushed into the plant room and started tearing the Sandersonni out of the ground. As he ripped them up, an awful stench filled the air and Hercules had to force himself not to gag. Where each plant had been there was now a big hole leading straight down. Hercules peered inside one, his hand over his nose and mouth, and he thought he saw a murky liquid. The Demi-God couldn't be sure though as the lighting was very poor. He knew for a fact though the stink was coming from the holes.

After all the plants were destroyed, Hercules told the leader of the dwarven clan about the Sandersonni and what to watch for in the tunnels below. He didn't know if they could grow back or not, but Hercules thought it might be possible. Armed with lots of torches, the dwarves entered the lower tunnels to search for Master Gristle and his missing security team. The torches would allow them to see the trigger hairs and burn any they might encounter.

Satisfied that all was taken care of in the dwarven community, Hercules, Iolaus and Jason headed for the Academy. The Academy was closer than Jason's palace, so they would go there. They hoped Chiron might know a cure for the berry addiction. After walking for about an hour in the open air, Jason began to feel better. His head cleared up and his eyes no longer had that glazed look to them. He didn't feel totally cured, but he was on the road to recovery. And with the berry plants destroyed, there was no possibility of him eating any more. They reached the gates to the Academy and passed through. Jason was walking on his own and no longer needed his friends to support him. The berry addiction embarrassed him, but he knew it was best to ask Chiron's advice. The three friends walked into the Academy and started towards the centaur's office.

The End