–By Tern O'Brien
"Tern, you're on in two minutes!" the camera man hollered. Tern waved her hands in front of her face.
"I'm burning up!" she complained. Pelee waved a fan at her, then handed it to Homer.
"Here, this is your job." she snickered. "Hey I gotta go get ready for my big entrance!" Pelee laughed, running off.
"Calm down Tern. It's just a . . .camera." Homer frowned.
"Rolling!" the director waved his hand. Homer moved out of the way of the camera.
"Where's Zylus?" Tern hissed, Homer shrugged. Like he cared where Zylus was! Smiling, he watched his fidgety girlfriend. The path inside was covered with a long roll of red carpet, and roped off from the onlookers, who were watching excitedly for their heroes.
Tern smiled, holding her microphone tightly, heart pounding. The tall amazon's gown had a tight bodice, strapless, sleeveless, with a delicate neckline to reveal a subtle but alluring display of flesh. The full ballroom skirt flowed out, the fabric was light blue silk in a floral pattern of dark blue rose clusters, a small vine of roses trailing around the sheer fabric that gently swayed over layers of fullness. The long golden hair was down and curled wildy around her.
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I'm Tern O'Brien, coming to you live from the Parthenon with the First Annual Young Hercules Academy Awards pre-show. For the next little while I'll be your escort as our forumers, presenters, and nominees arrive.
"Tonight marks an important night for the Young Hercules Academy. The categories and nominees were announced last month, and then voted on by the forumers. I'd like to take a minute to thank our sponsors, our chancellors, and of course, the two lovely ladies behind this whole shin dig, my sisters, Pelee and Rhiannon. Since I'm family, we'll get a word with them before the festivities start." Tern winked at the camera. A carriage pulled up.

"Looks like one of the first to arrive is newcomer Neila, escorted by the dashing and talented Kevin Smith!" Tern announced. The petite Neila wore a pale blue sleeveless floor length gown, with a form fitting bodice and a flowing skirt. An alluring but modestly cut neckline stood up around behind her neck. A matching cape at the shoulders gave her an excellent accessory, and her pearl choker and earrings completed her look. Her blonde hair and blue eyes were completed prettily by her dress.
The couple stopped to chat on their way in.
"An electrifying night tonight Neila, are you excited?"
"Oh yes! Since I'm really new, being here is so exciting. I can't wait for the fun to begin!" Neila exclaimed.
"Well head on in and you two enjoy the night!" Tern smiled as they moved on. "Next in line appears to be Thalia and the King of Corinth, Jason! Thalia, as an oldie and nominee, how do you feel about the awards?"
"I think it's great. We have so many talented people here at forum, and I think this is a great way to honor everyone. I really hope I win but the other girls are so deserving! I guess we'll see!" Thalia smiled, radiant in her silky blue dress, low cut in the front with an open back held by interlacing white straps. The ruby red heart of her necklace glowed against her throat, her long white gloves adding an elegant touch.
"Spoken with true grace. Jason, you're presenting a couple thing tonight, how about you?"
"Cool as a cucumber." the king replied.
"Well I hope some of the others are the same. Good luck tonight Thal!"

Another carriage pulled up.
"Arriving now are Kristina and Anthony!"
The petite Kristina wore a long, black satin sleeveless dress with matching heels her black hair gracefully skimming her shoulders. Her companion, Anthony was tall, muscled and tanned, with short black hair dark brown eyes, dashing in a black suit.
"Any predictions for tonight's winners?" Tern asked. Kristina chuckled.
"Well, I'm kind of new so I'm not sure who to place money on tonight."
"Well, the important part is that you're here so you better have some fun!" The couple moved past Tern.

"Here comes another very popular cadet, Young Hercules! Herc, a lucky man tonight, with multiple dates!"
"Yeah, I got lucky." Herc smiled, his arms linked with Keiyn and Mimma.
Keiyn wore a little black dress with black heel, her brown hair falling down in waves. "I won't be lonely for a moment."
"Can't blame you for that." Tern grinned. "I had two dates tonight but they're lost inside, setting up. You two have fun tonight!"
Mimma wore an elegant, long gown with a small slit on the right side, in baby blue satin. In the sleeveless dress, the storytelling sorceress looked cool and ready for anything. Long hair pulled up, Mimma wore a blue headband and a rainbow crystal necklace as well.
"Mimma, you're nominated in several categories tonight, including the prestigious Best Story category. Are you nervous?" Tern asked. Mimma giggled.
"A little. Everyone deserves to win, I wish we could share!"
"That would make it easier on everyone!" Tern agreed.
Next to Mimma was Jasmine, graceful in a sleek little black dress with black heels. Her long black hair was braided up and away from her face, her dark brown eyes dancing.
Next to Keiyn was Dearra, in a short, simple lilac dress. The long waves of blond hair fell to the middle of her back. The petite beauty's deep violet eyes shone.

"Looks like our next arrival is Kristi, with Forgery Herc!" Tern announced. The pair strolled up, Forgery Herc moody and aloof as usual.
Kristi wore a simple black dress with a gold chain around her neck, her dark hair in a french twist.
"Kristi, so glad you got him out the Academy. Don't look so gloomy Forg."
Tern winked at the young man who bore such a strong resemblance to her boyfriend Zylus.
"Eh. . .I'll find trouble soon enough." he chuckled.
"And pulling up next is HBKid, the WebMaster of the YHWO forum and website, with the lovely innkeeper Kora as his date. How are you two tonight?"
"Just fine." Kora eyed the Amazon wearily. The bartender had been the cause of too many disturbances in her bar.
"Kid, you're nominated in the distinguished category of Lifetime Achievement, how does that feel?"
"It's a real honor Tern. I'm thrilled." he said shyly. Tern grinned.
"I bet! You two go get comfy and good luck! Here comes Raven and Hebe with their date! What a welcome surprise, Mr Sean Hanlon! Ladies, where did you find him?" Tern exclaimed as the trio strolled up. Raven's blonde hair was swept up an coiffed gracefully, laced through with baby's breath. In a full length red silk gown with a wrap around neck, plunging back and long slit up the right side, her simple accessories of a black choker, earrings and eyebrow ring, Raven was stunning. Sean was in his black suit, only one button done up, over a red silk shirt with the collar on the outside and open at the neck revealing his black choker. The sleeves of the shirt also stuck out the bottom of the undone jacket sleeves. The red silk shirt only has a few buttons done up too, revealing a tantalizing piece of his chest.
Holding tight to Sean's other arm was Hebe, swathed in a forest green, ankle length dress, slits running up each side to her knees. Two spaghetti straps went over the shoulders and crisscrossed down her back to the waist where it tied into a bow. The front was rounded, but not revealing too much. On her right writs was delicate silver bracelet, around her neck a silver Y necklace, and diamond studs glittered in her ears. Matching sandals revealing her toes completed it. All of her auburn hair was twisted up elegantly, secured with small green butterfly clips.
"Well, there's one more in our party too." Raven grinned, bring him around from behind her.
"Baby Ruff! You look so cute tonight! Hey, keep that muzzle on him so he doesn't toast us."
"He'll be a good boy." Raven laughed, holding his hand tightly.
"Well you folks have fun tonight and we'll see you inside." Tern patted Ruff on the head as the foursome headed inside.

"And coming up now is Young Xena and her date! YXena, where did you find this adorable young man?" Tern asked. YXena grinned.
"His name is Brett. He's from Avonlea." YXena said happily, holding to him. The young man smiled shyly.
"Hello." He murmured, with a faint British accent.
Young Xena, her long, almost black hair down and loose, had silver butterfly clips gleaming against the dark. Her long, dark blue, sleeveless dress, complemented her cobalt blue eyes, with armbands for the night were lighter blue. The silver necklace glittered on her neck.
"You're a nominee tonight Young Xena, in a couple different categories I believe. Are you nervous?"
"Yes. This is kind of new to me."
"I bet you two will have loads of fun tonight, and good luck!." Tern winked at YXena as they moved on inside.

"And here comes Trina with Joel Tobeck!! Trina, you look fab tonight! And Joel, what a surprise to see you!"
"Thanks Tern. When Trina asked me to escort her tonight I couldn't resist." Joel smiled charmingly. Trina wore a dashing black Renaissance style gown with a blood red bodice and choker, with a high neck behind her, her long brown hair curled and piled up on top of her head. The blue green eyes were framed by long dark lashes, and glowed against her tanned skin.
"Well, we are thrilled to have you both here tonight. Trina, do you have any bets riding on tonight's winners?"
"Nah, I'm not really into gambling but I did notice your family is nominated in almost all categories." Trina winked. Tern started laughing.
"Yeah that is rather odd.." Tern laughed. "But hey, the people have spoken and we're all in suspense at this point."
"We plan to just kick back and watch the fun." Trina smiled.
"Well there should be plenty of it, so you two get good and comfy!" Tern turned back to the arriving carriage.

"Arriving next is my apprentice, Medea, and everyone's favorite troublemaker, Iolaus!"
"Hi Tern!" Medea hugged her mentor.
"I'm so glad you made it! We were afraid you were going to get lost in Casenite again." Tern snickered.
"What's Casenite?" Iolaus asked. Medea glared at Tern.
"Nothing important honey." she cooed. Her blond hair was in a ponytail, the blond hair all spiraling, with two little ringlets framing her face. In a navy blue silk gown with spaghetti straps and a plunging neckline, Tern noticed Iolaus couldn't keep his eyes off his amazon. Her shoulders were covered by a sheer blue jacket.
"Iolaus, you're presenting tonight, you ready?"
"Oh yeah. This is gonna be primo." Iolaus grinned, his hair pulled back in a loose ponytail.
"Medea, a nominee in several categories, how are you feeling?"
"Nervous but excited. I'm up against you actually in a couple of those categories, may the best witch win!" Medea snickered, pointing her index finger at Tern, who responded with the same motion.

"And right behind her little sis is our hostess for the evening, the lovely Muse of Music, Euterpe and Conor! E, are you nervous about tonight?"
Tern asked her friend. E shrugged. "Nah. I can dig it."
Euterpe wore an emerald green taffeta dress, an graceful, sleeveless number with a semi-full skirt to the floor. A gently squared neckline that went up around her neck, form fitting bodice and the dress flowed smoothly. A delicate floral pattern was etched into the fabric, creating a raised texture under the lights. The same floral pattern decorated the edge of the dress as well.
Conor wore a formal jacket with a lace collar, his arm wrapped protectively around Euterpe.
"I love your designer Euterpe. Such a pleasure to see you dressed up." the corner of Tern's mouth twitched as she held back her smile.
"Yeah, same here Tern. People were starting to wonder if you owned anything other than leather." Euterpe replied, winking at her friend. Tern grinned.

"And here comes the last of our lovely chancellors, Aura with-I don't believe it! Bacchus as her escort! Aura, what a fabulous choice in men! Bacchus, what a . . . pleasure to see you!" Tern smiled in awe at the God, elegant in a silver tux with tails, holding a silver cane with a dolphin on the top. His long black hair was tied in a neat ponytail. Aura's long hair was down, her silver headband gleaming. In the middle, between her eyebrows rested a dolphin, with butterflies decorating the rest of it. A thick black choker was snug around her throat, matching her long, silvery black dress, the train of which that was draped chicly over her arm. The sleeveless top gave a plentiful but seductive display, the bottom of the dress poofing out.
"Thank you. It is an honor to join you mortals in a party." Bacchus replied. Aura laughed.
"Well, I figured all the boys would be taken so I called up my old buddy here."
"A definite thrill Aura. I do believe you're a nominee tonight. Are you nervous?"
"A bit." the goddess admitted. "But I'm nominated in one of the newbie categories, and now there are so many newbies, it just thrills me that I'm in there."
"We are thrilled to have you Aura! You've done so much to make YHU a success! And I wouldn't consider you a newbie anymore, really. You and Bacchus have some special seats near the front so you'll have a good view of everything going on!" The pair missed the gleam in Tern's gray eyes as they moved past her.
"Barb, a brave woman coming stag tonight. Planning on picking up someone special tonight?" Tern winked at her. Barb laughed.
"Oh Maybe." she grinned. She wore a form fitting royal blue, seamless velvet dress, her long blond hair in an elegant bun. The royal blue of her dress brought out her lovely blue eyes.
"Well, there are plenty of options around tonight, that's for sure! Happy Hunting! Our next arrival is my darling niece, Lissy!"

The young Amazon wore a long, dark red dress with a slit up the leg and over the knee. Lissy's hair was pulled into a tight french braid with ringlets on each side. The sweetheart neckline dipped low enough to be interesting. Her high heels matched the red of her dress perfectly.
"Hi Aunt Terny!" Lissy said cheerfully.
"Hi Liss. Who is this dashing young man with you tonight lissy?" Tern asked
"This is Alex Smith, my date." Lissy's arm was linked through the young mans. Tall and dark, Alex had a sweet smile. Dashing in a black tux, the red rose in his pocket added the elegant touch.
"You're a nominee tonight Lissy, are you nervous?"
"A little." the younger responded with a smile. "But I figure if the gods want me to win, then I will."
"That's a good attitude to have Lissy. Good luck tonight honey." Tern smiled at her niece as the pair moved past her.

"And the next arrival is Queen Vanessa! Van, who's your lovely escort tonight?" Tern asked. The Queen's short hair was smoothed down sleekly, her plunging pale pink top exposed a large section of her midriff as it came to a point on one side, and then seamlessly hugged her hips and fell to her ankles.
"This is King Eric, my date for tonight. He's filling in for Jason."
"Well, we're glad to have you here tonight Van, enjoy the show!"
"Here comes another surprise escort tonight- Mistaya is arriving with Headmaster Cheiron!"
The healer walked alongside the centaur, stunning in a royal blue dress with a black mini jacket.
"Good evening Chieron, Mistaya. What an interesting surprise!"
"Hi Tern. No this isn't a date-date!" Mistaya hissed at her. Tern winked.
"Hey we're not at school right now, what does it matter? Cheiron, as one of our presenters tonight, how are you feeling?"
"Pretty good. It's just like lecturing a class. On tv." he chuckled.
"It'll definitely be a night to remember." Tern grinned at them as they walked on in.

Tern turned as a magnificent white pumpkin shaped carriage drew up, pulled by four white horses. The coachman stopped and the footman jumped down to open the door. Ryan and Siro got out, turned to offer Rhiannon to help her down, then Pelee. Ryan and Rhiannon walked up first.
"One of our last arrivals but oh so important, our next arrival appears to be Rhiannon, Co-Founder of the YHAA with Ryan Gosling, and Pelee, Co-Founder of the YHAA with Siro! What lucky men you are tonight boys, to be escorting my little sisters!"
On Ryan's arm was Rhiannon, Tern's youngest sister, stunning in an indigo floor length silk dress, with silver runes making their way up her leg. The sides of her dark hair were swept back and held in place with silver rune clips, the rest cascading down her back in waves.
"I really am." Ryan looked adoringly at Rhiannon, who was glowing.
"Sis, a big night for you. How are you feeling?" Tern asked. Rhiannon smiled.
"Nervous, knowing there a billion people out there in New Greeceland, watching this." the welsh mare goddess replied. Tern winked.
"Pelee? How about you?"
"Well, after everything we've put into this, it's almost relief to be here, but almost sad to see it end." Pelee smiled, exquisite in a spaghetti strapped, black and gold mottled dress. With a deep neckline, form fitting, and falling to the floor gracefully, dragging a few inches behind her, the middle sister had never looked better. The sides of her long dark hair were braided back, the rest falling over her shoulders. Siro's eyes couldn't leave her even to greet Tern.
"It's gonna get started soon, so get in there and knock em dead and good luck girls!!" she laughed.

As the foursome made their way inside past the cheering crowd, Tern turned towards the camera.
"Well folks, it looks like a few members are still missing but I'm sure they'll arrive soon. It's time to head on inside now where Euterpe is about to open the ceremonies."
As the people got settled, the music swelled and the lights started to dim. Tern took her seat between Homer and Zylus. In a dark blue, open chested poet shirt loosely laced up with black pants, Homer looked every bit the romantic bard. Zylus wore his black leather pants and a loose black shirt unbuttoned, his usual dangerous, sexy self.
A loud, roaring noise caused the crowds to turn towards the main doors, which suddenly flew open. In rolled a large machine in silver and black, causing a few screams. The rider was dressed in all black leather, a black helmet covering his head. Behind him on the silver machine sat Achaea, wearing a white, strapless dress, slits up to her knees allowing her to straddle the hulking machine. The top of her dress was trimmed with in dark, wine colored silk, with a matching choker and the matching sandal-heels that lace up toward my knees could be seen on her feet.
Behind them, strolled in Kalina and a tall, handsome man in jeans and a loose sweater.
Wearing a floor-length shoulderless gown in forest green, a sheer green scarf draped elegantly over her arms, Kalina looked sumptuous. Dark brown hair was piled loosely on her head, a stray tendril falling out on each side.
As people murmured at the entrance, Achaea hopped off the machine and waved.
"Hi everyone! This Richie Ryan, from Highlander the Series! I did a little time traveling." she smiled adoringly at the rider in black leather, who removed the helmet to reveal a handsome young blond man.
"And this is Methos, from the same era." Kalina said proudly.
Tern hurried forward with a smile, settling the crowd.
"You girls are so lucky! Not to mention creative. Please, join us, the fun is about to begin!" Tern eyed the newcomer men appreciatively as she escorted them to their seats, right behind Tern, the boys, Medea and Iolaus.
The lights dimmed , the music swelled, and the crowd hushed.