TITLE: Welcome to the Academy

AUTHOR: Sky Pie

RATING: G

SUMMARY: Hercules attempts to make friends with a reclusive new cadet at Cheiron's Academy.

DISCLAIMER: The character of Alexia is mine. All Young Hercules characters are not mine and no copyright infringement is intended. This is an original work of fiction. Any similarities to other fan fictions or stories are entirely coincidental.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I began writing this story on June 8, 2003, and completed it on October 10, 2003. However, it suffered severe editing by a thoroughly embarrassed author on July 29, 2006. The people I want to thank know who they are; in order to protect them from angry readers, they shall remain nameless.

---

A young woman made her way along a lonely dirt road. She had been walking for miles, and was growing weary from the journey. As she went, thoughts of home and her father flooded her mind. For a while she felt guilty about leaving everything behind, but she soon pushed those thoughts aside and turned her focus to the path that lay ahead.

After stopping for a brief moment to rest, she pressed onward with the knowledge that her destination wasn't much further. Eventually, she came upon a small grassy hill overlooking the building. When she reached the top and saw the academy, she knew she had made it. She was one step closer to achieving her ambition—to become a warrior.

---

"Looks like I've beaten you again Iolaus!" Hercules announced triumphantly to his friend.

"Hey, I'll get you in the next round. Fifth time's a charm," the curly-haired blonde replied. The cadets were practicing that morning in the training hall and the demigod was easily defeating Iolaus at the sparring drills.

The two boys fought another round, and sure enough, Hercules won again. "Oh yeah! Who's the master now?" he gloated.

"Ah, you're just lucky. I was going easy on you." Iolaus said. The cadets changed partners and he went over to spar with Jason, while Hercules's new opponent was Lilith.

"I hate to admit this, but there's probably no one at the academy that can defeat Hercules." Jason confessed to his friend.

"Well, you never know, that might change." Iolaus remarked. Hercules, Jason, and Lilith all looked at him with question in their eyes. "The academy is getting a new cadet," he explained. "I overheard a conversation with Cheiron."

"When are they coming?" Jason asked.

"I don't know, but they should be arriving pretty soon."

"C'mon guys, we'd better stop talking and finish practicing." Lilith suggested. The four comrades continued drilling, saving their curiosity for a later time.