Over the three years the Descendants had protected Mayfield, a hard lesson had been shared among the career criminals and occasional supervillain that tried to operate in Mayfield: metal was a no-go.
If your plans involved a gun, knife, automobile, city street with manhole covers or street lamps or even a zipper with metal in its construction, you were taking a supreme risk. If you had implants or a prosthetic, be they a whole robotic arm or just some screws in your knee, most gangs wouldn’t bother with you any longer.
When your weapon could simply melt or wrap around your legs, or the bank vault you were robbing could simply seal up without a seam, it wasn’t worth it unless you were packing the powers or the (non-metal based tech) to deal with such situations.
Evidently, the monsters the two Descendants teams were facing weren’t tapped into the Mayfield Underworld. In his metal sense, Alloy could tell that the plates covering them were steel with a moderate to poor carbon ratio; an older, per-industrial alloy.
Considering he could command modern carbon steel with a modicum of effort, what he was finding on the monsters … Continue reading
The astral body was the impression left by a person on the astral plane, comprised of a combination of core emotions, self image, impressions from others, and in some cases their powers or magic.
Kareem had lain eyes on many astral bodies in his life; the deep azure of heroic souls, a manifestation of the legendary cart of Juggernaut, the tortured forms of transfigured monsters—but never something like this.
The man sitting calmly on his rocking chair, was, on the astral where the self of self was rendered visible, a giant in golden armor. True gold, free of the blue normal human astral forms possessed or the rose tint of the astral’s matter. And not only golden, but of a design he’d never seen; historical or fictional. It was made up of a chaos of edges and rounds the blended together into something that completely ensconced a form three times larger than the man’s actual body, and it blazed with an ambient power that was colorless, yet somehow burned bright.
The helm was a horned thing with a heavy brow ridge with eyes blazing with the same energy. Though bowed heavily forward as the group approached, … Continue reading
The creature of darkness and metal towered over Lisa. In the dappled shadow of the jungle, it raised one arm—the right one, which she now saw was significantly longer than the left. Instead of a hand, it ended in a hollow tube, which it steadied with its left hand.
“No tay moo ayvaas pahghana.” A voice boiled out from inside its helmet, thick as tar. It was unmistakably a language, but as if spoken from the bottom of a well. Something about it tickled in the back of Lisa’s brain, searching for a place to connect.
An unholy yowl, like an alley cat with a trod on tail echoed from overhead, causing Lisa’s eyes to flicker up into the canopy just in time to see a tangle of vines burst into flames courtesy of lances of ruby light that sheered them away to reveal Icthiani.
Still snarling her frustration, the daoine dropped, landing heavily on all fours on the forest floor, blood staining the soil under one palm while in the other hand, a dagger plunged into the same.
The distraction was just enough time for Lisa to snatch her shrunken staff key chain from her belt and swing it … Continue reading
“So you just bought this thing and had it delivered in like a couple of hours?” Teen Machine looked around appreciatively at the RV’s interior. They had long since exhausted bets and hypotheses about what was going to happen, and his attention had naturally turned to the closest machine; that being the vehicle itself.
It wasn’t much to write home about: behind the front cabin where the driver and front passenger sat, there were two diner-style booths on either side of a center aisle equipped with seatbelts. Beyond that, a low divider cordoned off a short couch facing a television. An actual wall separated the main compartment from the bed and bathroom. Everything was clean, if a bit worn, leaving a feeling like visiting a friend’s home.
“That was mostly Treshawn,” Admitted Cyn, “No idea how he pulled it off and god something this decent this quick, but I’m glad he did. That plus money is the real superpower when it comes to normal stuff.” She gave an exaggerated wink.
Teen Machine leaned back, looking at the ceiling. “So… what’re you gonna do with it after the mission? Sell it?”
“You’ve got that ‘I’m scheming … Continue reading
The crowds outside the hotel following the DRW banquet were predictable. There were the fans of the Descendants teams and superheroes in general alongside pro-descendant activists and, of course, the press, all gathered on the sidewalk hoping to catch a glimpse or ask questions.
And of course, across the street was the opposition. Signs expressing support for the Braylocke Laws and the Interstate Psionics Bounty Agency, disdain for DRW and the descendant-majority Colombian government, and bearing slogans such as ‘With Great Power Comes Great Tyranny’ and ‘Remember Ravi’, were displayed among a smaller, but still sizable crowd.
Some went further. Slogans suggesting descendants should be sent to countries known for legalizing or at least looking the other way when it came to mistreating or even enslaving descendants or advocating recent conspiracy theory ‘medical depowering’ sprang up here and there was well.
“You know how those nerds online talk about stories about problems superheroes can’t solve by punching?” Cyn muttered to Warrick as they made their way to the tour bus waiting for them on the street. Lily was trying to fend off the press while most of the combined teams were sharing greetings, handshakes and … Continue reading
Someone had provided yet another ‘formal’ heroic costume for the occasion. This one was a silk dress that fell to her ankles with a generous slit up on thigh. It was a deep crimson that only showed it color as different from black when the light struck it just right and cinched at the waist by a belt made of strings of black beads with a faux ruby buckle in the front. A velvet half-cape with her customary hood draped elegantly over her shoulders.
One of her teammates, whose public name was Green Boarder, told her that the shoes that went with it were called ‘ballet flats’ and that ballet was a type of dance. She didn’t have any plans to dance and no one had mentioned anything about expecting such.
The member of Descendants LA known as Lady D looked down at her hands, encased in opera gloves that matched her dress. They were holding a mug of coffee, but the heat of it didn’t travel through her handwear.
“Why are we here?”
She was stood at an expansive window of the thirtieth floor conference room of the Takigawa … Continue reading
“So you say your dreams are getting worse? Have they become more frequent?”
Dr. Patricia Masters’ office had an open air to it. One entire curved wall was given over to windows overlooking the Potomac River and allowing natural light to flood in, highlighting the hardwood floors and cherry wood furniture from the low bookshelves on the far wall to the old-fashioned roll-top writer’s desk in the corner, to the coffee table in the center of the room.
On one side of that was a love seat; cherry again with royal blue upholstery and arms carved in fluted shapes. The good doctor, one of the worlds’ only superhuman psychologists, occupied this seat. On the other was a trio of singular seats; two matching armchair versions of the love seat and a rather less impressive paisley blue one with a rounded back and plush padding.
In this seat sat Laurel Brant, heir to Brant Industries, Headmistress of the Liedecker Institute, and Codex, leader of The Descendants. She was sunken into the seat as far as she would go, eyes closed ad she breathed slowly in and out.
“Only once or twice a week. But they’re … Continue reading
“Right in there, miss.” the voice of the orderly barely reached the hospital room before a sight to behold burst in.
Tink hadn’t bothered transforming out of her Renaissance costume, only pulling back her cowl and goggles. Dried blood caked one legs and both hands where she hadn’t even noticed that the shattered pieces of her gauntlets had punctured her arms. Part of a spiked chain had caught and torn part of her costume from below her shoulder blade to her ribs; material meant to repel higher velocity penetration and slashing weapons had relented to lower speed piercing.
From where she was sitting next to Jamie’s hospital bed, Meghan’s jumped at the sudden arrival. Jamie, who was in the middle of tapping on her palmtop, looked over and her eyes widened. “Wow… you look like you’ve had a bad day—and I just got eighteen stitches and two pints of FastPlas.”
Ignoring her remark, Tink grinned at her and Meghan. “You’re okay! When I asked at the front desk and they said you’d been admitted…”
“Oh yeah.” Jamie’s laugh was a little weak, betraying that she wasn’t back to full strength. … Continue reading
Renaissance tightened her fist. Myriad wasn’t wrong. Without being able to tell which Myriad was the real person, she couldn’t go all out against them. Her goggles were returning heat signatures from each one of them, so that wasn’t any help.
Only, she’d never entered a fight as Renaissance with the intention to go all out with her physical strength.
“You’re making that same mistake,” she said quietly. One hand dipped into the pocket of her kilt. All of the Myriads hesitated, watching that hand. The bottom edges of her ammo magazines had raised patterns and RFID chips in them so that she could tell which was which regardless of whether she had on her gauntlets or barehanded.
It only took a moment to find the one she was looking for and slide open the safety on the side. “You still know nothing about me.” She was in motion, diving to the side as she depressed the tab under the safety and flung the magazine at the closing semi-circle of Myriads.
She hit the ground and rolled to the other side of a car as the magazine detonated all sixteen pellets inside, unleashing a rapidly-expanding … Continue reading
The moment the Myriads’ stances shifted, Renaissance gestured inside her gauntlets, cycling the grapnel magazines. Her latest design allowed for three different types of ammunition to be stored at once and rotated as needed. The indicator light on the back of the left one went pink, the right green.
The first Myriad that reached her was wielding a truncheon. Renaissance sidestepped them and slammed her right shoulder into the hollow of their armpit. Their feet left the ground in the clash and they went over on their back.
Simultaneously, she fired with her left hand, spattering the ground in an arch with pinkish slime—a compressible formulation of animal birthing agent, one of the most slippery substances available. Three of the Myriads couldn’t check their charges in time and ending up slipping, crashing to the floor. There, more of the slime coasted them, making recovery even more difficult.
Another Myriad leapt over the one Renaissance had tackled, brandishing a knife. The flashing blade clashed with an armored gauntlet, leaving them open to a firm push from Renaissance’s other hand, which sent them sprawling.
Green pellets fired from the right gauntlet. Where … Continue reading