Descendant 108 – Lost Angels – Chapter 01

This entry is part [part not set] of 39 in the series Current

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 International Hotel, her back to the grand view of Los Angeles and instead facing the rest of the room where the rest of Descendants LA were arrayed around the room, siting on the various couches and other seats, waiting for their guests.

Rebound, Glass and Green Boarder were chatting about something inconsequential, she was certain. Her brother, publicly called Zephyrus was sitting on the floor cross-legged at the corner where the room’s two walls of windows met, eyes closed, deep in meditation.

Beside her, sitting in a large, soft seat he’d turned to face the window, with a tablet in his hands, was the final member of her team, in increasingly inaccurately named Teen Machine. He was dressed in a dark green and black suit, which concealed his prosthetic while a matching luchador-style mask concealed his face.

He glanced up at his question, fingers pausing over the tablet where he was reading over a speech. “Because the apartment’s not really big enough to have a lot of people over?”

Icthiani frowned at his response, glaring down at the back of his head. “That isn’t what I mean.”

Teen Machine turned off his tablet’s screen and rested it on his lap, craning his neck to look at her. Her glare invited a little smirk to his lips. “What do you mean then?”

She let go a mildly frustrated breath through her nostrils. Intimidation never worked on him. “Ray said this whole… ceremony… was in for descendants – those among your people who possess inborn, non-magical power. If this is the case, then why are we here? Loshuia and I are not even human, and you are not a descendant.”

Teen Machine blinked once. Then twice. Then a slow, sad smile spread across his face. “Oh. I guess we never talked about it. Or even really see it with us.” He scrambled to turn around in his seat, almost dropping the tablet in the process and ending up on his knees facing backward in the chair.

“So descendants… well you know how people think about you with your sangrelogos?”

The fact that he referred to the source of her magic without mispronouncing it told her he was serious. She shook her head. “I’ve seen no evidence that descendants are bonded to barely controlled demons. Is this a misconception the people of the Blue World hold?”

“Not, like literal demons. Some religious wacks sa they’re evil, but those kinds of folks think make believe witches are in league with the devil—and they’ve been real distracted from descendants now that they know other worlds are a thing.

Anyway, it’s a lot of things. Some folks say they’re dangerous. Some people say it’s unfair that some people get powers and other don’t. Some are just honest about it and they just don’t like that descendants are different from them. Which isn’t new. People do that with everyone who’s different whether it’s about where they’re from or what they look like or who they want to be with. Descendants are just the latest people they’ve got half an excuse to try and dump on.”

Icthiani nodded. “Peoples in Faerie are the same.”

“Well, I mean I guess racism is easier when there are literal different races.”

She shook her head. “No. Well, yes. But even among the High Soder, we are divided based on family, power, looks.” Noting the change in his expression she elaborated. “There are those with short, stubby ears much like humans, or blunted, misshapen teeth. No one takes them seriously and they are shunned. But… I have not seen this shunning, or executions here.”

Teen Machine frowned a bit at her way of describing such things, but soldiered on. “Here at least you wouldn’t see that. It’s not just illegal but people can’t just get away with being an asshole on that level out in the open. But they treat folks different. Like descendants just ‘happen’ to not get the same chance at jobs or places to live. Parents don’t let their kids date descendants; stuff like that. And then there’s the stupid Braylocke Laws.”

“The special bounty hunters and prisons. I have seen discussions on those. They do remind me of home.” There was no fondness for that memory.

“Yeah,” agreed Felix. “And that’s just here in the US. This whole thing today? It’s a fundraiser for Descendants Rights Worldwide. There’s places around the world where descendants are pretty much made slaves for their powers, or aren’t allowed to live there at all, or… all sorts of terrible shit and they work to make things better.”

He stopped speaking, but she continued staring at him. The explanation wasn’t complete.

After a moment, he got the message and scratched the back of his head. “So yeah, long story short, we’re not descendants, but our friends are and lots of people who don’t deserve the crap people give them for it are too, so the least we can so is support them. And being famous and superheroes, that just makes that responsibility extra, you know?”

There was another tense pause as Icthiani processed this. “It makes sense. I don’t have to speak to anyone do I?”

“Nah, that’s me… and you pretty much just heard what I’m going to be delivering at the banquet this evening.”

“I believe people will understand.”

“Heh. I hope so.”

***

It was a bit under an hour later when the visitors from the original east coast Descendants arrived. Unlike the resident team, they were in street clothes, having no need to keep their identities secret any longer.

“Welcome back,” Rebound said, rising from the couch he’d been sharing with Green Boarder. Like Teen Machine, he was wearing a suit designed to mimic his white and red costume alongside a face-concealing cowl. He crossed the room to greet the new arrivals as they came in the door.

Green Boarder joined him as Teen Machine and Zephyrus stood up to come over as well. Lady D maintained he post by the window, making no effort to move.

“It’s nice to actually get together for something other than a crisis,” Lisa Ortega, otherwise known as Occult commented as she closed the door behind her, joining the group in exchanging handshakes.

“Speaking of,” said Green Boarder, “Have you guys learned anything else about your new ‘fans’?” She was wearing a deep green blouse with a slightly darker knee-length skirt, high boots and opera gloves similar to Lady D’s.

Warrick Kaine, Alloy, shook his head. “Nothing. It’s been a week on high alert and they’ve made no moves as far as we can tell.”

“Maybe they got scared off by that Myriad chick giving them away?” Green Boarder suggested hopefully.

Coming to stand beside her, Zephyrus shook his head. Unlike the other guys on his team, he wasn’t wearing a suit, but rather a formal robe tailored to look like one from his homeland in Faerie in whites and grays with his hair tied back and a domino mask. “Perhaps for a time, but one doesn’t abandon the kind fo effort these people have apparently invested. They are likely biding their time.”

The Boarder rolled her eyes. “Cheery as always.”

“But if you guys need support, we’re on side to help out,” Rebound cut in.

“Yeah,” added Teen Machine, “I’d love to visit Machine City for a little bit, see the sights, meet new villains.” He grinned at Lisa, “Maybe get the scoop on when the next Snackrifice album will be out?”

Lisa returned the grin. “It might be a while. We haven’t gotten a lot of time in the studio since our identities went public. Not that we’ve given up on it though.”

“Well just let me know,” said Teen Machine.

“Just curious—no obligation or anything—but,” Cynthia MCAllister, Facsimile, could have looked like anyone, but she appeared in her usual public form; a pale, white-haired woman with purple eyes. “Does the offer to help out extend outside Mayfield? Say… somewhere else here in Cali?”

“I knew it.” Green Boarder said with glee, turning to Teen Machine. “Pay up, TM. No way they kept touring without putting a single stop on hold after the whole Myriad thing unless something was up. No matter how good the cause.”

Warrick Kaine, Alloy, held up his hands. “To be fair, it is a good cause. The DRW stops aren’t a cover, we’re just killing two birds with one stone.”

Zephyrus nodded calmly. “That makes sense. But what is the other ‘bird’?”

The other Descendants, including the up to this point silent Kareem Utt (Ephemeral), Melissa Forrester (Hope), Juniper Taylor (Zero) and Callie Kreiger (Vamanos) all gave Cyn concerned glances.

“What?” She responded indignantly, “All things considered, it’d be nice to have some backup if things get weird with this.”

“She has a point,” Warrick conceded.

Kareem nodded. “Agreed,” and he looked to the LA team. “We are on the trail of a magical artifact linked to another we encountered in the UK.” There was an awkward pause where he and the others were silent but their expressions changed as the quick telepathic conversation went back and forth between them. “We know that some of your number are… not of this world, but are you familiar with the name, Hyrilius?”

After a less awkward moment, Zephyrus spoke up. “I imagine most children in Faerie grow up hearing the legend in one form or other. It’s one of the tales that we know the Blue World from. The Mankind that stole from the Queen of Air and Darkness. The hero or the villain who waged war against her. The unknown entity that might have been the only one to wound her—though it’s unclear of they mean physically or out of pride. Considering the things we’ve seen and done, I would not be surprised if he or perhaps his Heir really exist.”

Lisa cleared her throat quietly, drawing all eyes to her. “That would be me. I’m not sure what stories there are out there, but the war with Maeve is real and Hyrilius or people inspired by him made magical devices to help fight her. We found one off the coast of England and something went active that let us track others. One is at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel.”

“That’s… a lot.” Rebound admitted.

“We will help.”

“Well yeah, I was…” Rebound stopped upon realizing who had spoken. At some point, Lady D had silently made her way over to the group and slipped in between himself and Glass. “Huh?”

She ignored the surprise her willingness to just speak with the newcomers, much less volunteer aid. “Hyrillius was real. Very real.” She held out her hand and flexed it into a fist. Faint, tiny symbols began to glow across the surface of her skin, making it clear for the first time to the east coast team that her skin wasn’t actually red, but covered in crimson writing at a density that made it appear so.

“Hyrillius is the one who created the process that created the sangrelogos. It was one of the weapons you speak of, created to combat the Queen of Air and Darkness, but instead turned into a means for our people to govern ourselves in her service. There might be secrets among his legacy to help me with my imperfect one.”

Lifting her head, she met the eyes of each of the visitors in turn, ending with Lisa. “What’s more, if the Heir is seeking that legacy, then war with Maeve is near.” She turned to look at her own team, “She is a threat that eclipses Zales manyfold. It is likely she has returned to the Green World and has set her eye on this one once more.

“Therefore, I will help you.”

Zephyrus stepped up beside his sister. “We’re too young to have lived under the rule of Maeve, but we’ve heard tales. If there is a way to prevent it, you have my sword in hand.”

“I’m in too!” Green Boarder added.

“This is all pretty crazy,” said Teen Machine. “So you can definitely count on me.”

Redound looked to Glass, who was pursing her lips. “Just like any other mission. You don’t have to go if you don’t have to.”

“Like TM said, this is pretty crazy. But I know enough that if even Lady D thinks it’s important, it’s important. I’ll do my best.”

With that, Rebound nodded to the other team. “Well than, we’ve got a couple of hours before the banquet. We were planning to give you the tour, but let’s talk this out and get a plan together.”

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About Vaal

Landon Porter is the author of The Descendants and Rune Breaker. Follow him on Twitter @ParadoxOmni or sign up for his newsletter. You can also purchase his books from all major platforms from the bookstore
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2 Comments

  1. Considering how crazy Avalon was even with the full team at hand, I’m glad they’re getting backup for this one. Thanks for the chapter!

  2. Huh, I missed this restarting. Cool to see it back but I certainly don’t recognise all of the characters.

    Anyway, typos!

    was in for descendants
    was for descendants

    kind fo effort
    kind of effort

    maintained he post
    maintained her post

    We know that some of your number
    (a couple of paragraphs from here switch font)

    the surprise her willingness
    the surprise at her willingness

    to just speak
    just to speak

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