The man that now stood in the room was like nothing David had ever seen. He wasn't even sure he could call the thing a man, although it had the basic human shape and wore clothing. But the similarities stopped there. The man's face was bright red, as red as the blood his boys feasted on. And there was large bumps and grooves on his forehead. But the thing that got his attention most of all was the huge horns. They were like spiraled sheep horns and were a dark grayish-black color. Just in front of the horns, thin pointed ears rose up, but they were hardly noticeable next to the horns. The man opened his mouth and David saw ALL of his teeth ended in sharp points. And his eyes were yellow. He dressed in a black sleeveless leather tunic, black leather pants and boots that went almost up to his knees. Extremely long fingernails, painted black, grew from his fingers.

Paul, Marko and Dwayne, still unable to move except for their heads, looked at the man in shock. David noticed, though, that Hades seemed more annoyed then surprised at this very unusual looking visitor.

"Bacchus, what do you want?" Hades asked with a sigh. It was no secret that Hades disliked Bacchus. Most of the family disliked Bacchus.

"Give them to me, Hades." Bacchus said again as he slowly walked forward. "I could use them."

"Bacchus, you know the rules." Hades crossed his arms in front of his chest, annoyed. "This is my Realm and you are Powerless here. These Bacchae already died and are sentenced to Tarturas. You cannot interfere in that."

Bacchus ignored Hades words. Taking his good natured time, he slowly walked a circle around Paul, Marco and Dwayne. They snarled at him, their hair getting wild and their fangs showing, their eyes turning red. Bacchus just laughed at this display, a deep hearty laugh. It amused him they were trying to scare him. "Be calm, my Bacchae, for you have nothing to fear from me. Indeed, I am here to rescue you from this boring, scroll-pushing Uncle of mine. If he would be left to his own ideas, he would put you in the deepest depths of Tarturas, to rot for all time. But I am here to save you."

David focused his eyes on Bacchus. He decided he would have to find out as much as he could about this Bacchus character. "Why would you help us?"

"Why? Because you are my children!" Bacchus replied in a deep voice, a voice like boulders scrapping against each other. "All Bacchae are my children, are they not, Hades?"

"Yes, you are the one responsible for these disgusting creatures!" Hades spat out. His eyes flared up with anger for his nephew. "Do you realize how many innocents your sick cult has condemned to Tarturas, just because you changed them to Bacchae?"

"Oh, but it's you that sends them to Tarturas, not me!" Bacchus pointed out, a long black nail touching Hades' chest just above his heart. "I am the one here trying to save these Bacchae. Let me have them, Hades. It will be four less paperwork for you to fill out for Zeus."

Hades thought of the mountain of paperwork waiting for him. Each time someone died he had to fill out papers. It never ended! Worst, he was several months behind and that darn Zeus was screaming about it. Couldn't he see it was Ares' fault, Ares and all the wars he started? "Oh, very well! You may have these four IF they agree to go with you."

"So, will you come with me, my children?" Bacchus asked, holding out his muscular arms.

The others looked to David.

"What do you want from us?" David asked, suspicious. He knew Bacchus wanted something from them but he had no idea what. And why was he calling them his children? Max had made them vampires, not this Bacchus character. In fact, this guy was some deformed freak! He talked sweet and gentle, but David sensed he could be very dangerous.

"I want you to kill someone for me." Bacchus informed them. "Someone by the name of Hercules."

*** ***

"Give it up, Ares! You'll never win!" Hercules shouted as he leaped into the air. The young man with short blonde hair easily flipped and landed gracefully on his feet. He had clear blue eyes, wore a light tan sleeveless tunic with brown leather pants and mid-calf brown boots. A wide leather belt, studded with silver, circled his waist. Matching gauntlets were on his wrists. A fireball whizzed past, just missing Hercules. "Why are you always trying to kill me? What did I ever do to you?"

"You were born, that's what! It's good enough for me." Ares laughed. Ares, the God of War, loved fighting with his younger half-brother. Ares had thick wavy dark hair, brown eyes and loved wearing black leather. A silver earring, shaped like a tiny sword, glittered from one ear. His arm muscles bulged as he drew back his hand, shaking it near his ear. A silver thimble covered one finger while a blood red ring was on another. Hurling his hand forward as if he were throwing a ball, a fireball appeared and rushed towards Hercules. "I was Father's favorite until you were born!"

"Ha! I never even seen Zeus! Some father he is!" Hercules did a handspring, the fireball missing him by mere inches. Landing on his feet, he shoved the blonde hair out of his eyes. "Why don't you give it a rest, Ares? Go back to Olympus! You know you can't kill me because of Zeus' protection order. If you do, you'll go to Tartarus!"

"Isn't that just grand?" Ares said sarcastically. Oh, he enjoyed playing these games with Hercules, his father's half-mortal brat. But Hercules was right. He couldn't kill Hercules due to the Protection Order. No God could. Woe any God that did and suffered Zeus' wrath! Still, he enjoyed these battles. No one else challenged him the way Hercules could. He had to admit it, the boy had skill and brains. Unfortunately, he had also made a lot of enemies by playing Hero far too many times. Ares wasn't the only God that wanted him dead.

Ares stopped fighting, his eyes seeming to focus on something far away.

Confused, Hercules stared at his older half-brother. Why wasn't Ares trying to kill him? He knew he should take this opportunity to either run away or jump on Ares, but he didn't. First, running away was what a coward did and Hercules was no coward. He certainly wasn't scared of Ares! Second, leaping on Ares while he was obviously doing some God Thing wasn't fair. The young Demigod had strong morals and cheating with unfair fighting was against the rules. So he just stood ready, his legs spread apart for balance as he easily balanced on the balls of his feet.

Ares shook his head, his attention once more on Hercules. "I have to go. Something odd is going on and I intend to find out what. We will continue this later." With that, Ares popped out in a flash of bright light.

Since Ares was gone, Hercules shrugged and turned around. He was supposed to meet Jason and Iolaus at Kora's over a half hour ago. By now they were probably worried where he was. But then knowing them, maybe they were too busy flirting with Kora herself to even notice he wasn't there yet! Thinking of what he would order for supper, Hercules hurried down the dirt trail towards the popular restaurant.