Descendant 108 – Lost Angels – Chapter 02

This entry is part 5 of 39 in the series Current

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 autographs with nearby fans.

They’re not worth it,” Warrick said back. He couldn’t ignore the effigy someone was holding up of a plush Alloy hanging from a noose. “They’d take video and post it online talking about how the big evil descendant used their powers to break their nose and how you denied them their freedom to be a bigoted scumbag who wants us sent to prison forever for being born.”

But it would be so satisfying,” Cyn groaned before putting on a smile for a little girl riding on her father’s shoulders was was shouting her codename. The fact that she and her father shared the same smooth, blue skin and frilled ears made them stand out. “Hi there, cutie! Her ya go!” She passed both father and daughter official D-icons.

Warrick also took the time to return the enthusiastic greeting. “Not saying you’re wrong. We we can fight back. Not everyone can.”

I thought you were a comic fan, dude,” Teen Machine joined the conversation smoothly, offering a huge grin to a group of cheering teenagers. “But maybe the comics are different from the movies. All the people who think it’s just about punching are wrong. The best superhero stories are the ones where there’s more at stake than who lives or dies, but who you help; who you inspire; whose mind you change.” He turned that hundred watt smile on the pair from the east coast, “that’s what we’re all here for right?”

Cyn laughed. “That’s exactly what Mom said before we started the tour. Guess you’re right.” Her gaze set on a homemade sign that read ‘God Hates Mutants’. “Though punching would be nice once in a while, not gonna lie.”

***

A simple walk to the bus took fifteen minutes. Treshawn Broussard, the driver and concierge for the east coast team was at the wheel with Heather Cooper-Finch, their travel coordinator in the seat behind them. As the teams piled in, Lily promised all questions would be answered in an upcoming press junket.

As Cyn passed him, Treshawn handed her a tablet computer. “The first one was easy, but the second took a little doing and some of the private accounts Codex gave me access to, but I got what you asked for delivered, Miss Brant. God knows what they think I’m up to asking for it last minute, but it should be what you need.”

Thanks. You really are as good as Lils said you were.” Cyn took the tablet and, following her old high school instincts, headed all the way to the back of the bus with Warrick.

Rebound joined them, sitting in the seat in front of the rear bench and leaning over the back of it. “Is that what I think it is?”

Cyn grinned, turning the device on. “Yep.” The screen lit up to reveal photos of an old, early model electric RV. “Even if we can’t take the entourage we can ride in style where we need to go.”

It’s kind of… old…” Rebound said, scrutinizing the image.

That’s the idea,” said Cyn with a wink. “If we roll into town in a shiny new house on wheels, people will take notice. But if we show up in a piece of crap junk pile older than we are, they’re just going to think some asshole kids are looking to shoot content or something and go out of their way to ignore us.”

Rebound blinked. “That makes a lot of sense.”

Yeah,” continued Cyn, “and don’t worry; I made sure it has the important stuff. Internet up-link, dehydration oven, working bathroom, the works. It was the nicest model back when most people’s parents were in school.”

The bus started moving and up front, Lisa stood up. “Alright guys. We’re on the way to where we’re going to change vehicles. Let’s get started on glamors. If you have a disguise look in mind, let me know, otherwise… they’re kind of random.” She had her satchel of magic reagents open and was pulling out what she needed to magically alter people’s appearances.

I believe my sister has us and Glass covered,” said Zephyrus, who was sharing a seat with Icthiani.

The red-skinned woman shot a glance his way from under her hood, appeared to consider his words, then produced a stiletto dagger from beneath her cloak. A deft movement scored a slice across three of her fingers and she flung droplets of blood at her brother, then glass, then herself, uttering harsh syllables each time.

After a beat, heat shimmers appeared around the three and their clothing and bodies transformed.

In Glass’s place was a slightly plump brunette with brown hair in a braid to her waist dressed in a green sweater and pale yellow canvas dress.

Zephyrus was now tall and thin, the image of a gawky teen with bleach-blonde hair and an Adam’s apple that bobbed with every breath. He was dressed in a blue and white striped button down and slacks.

As for Icthiani herself, pin straight bangs alongside shoulder length hair framed a face she had to have put concentrated effort into making plain and expressionless. She was clothed in a blouse with maroon and black pin-stripes with a black, ankle length skirt.

Will these suffice” she asked quietly.

Occult nodded. “Wow. I’ve never seen you do that before. It’s much faster than my glamors. Maybe we can compare notes.”

Icthiani shut her down with a look. “You are not prepared pay the same price I did for this magic.”

Zephyrus put his hand on his sister’s shoulder. “Forgive her brusqueness, but you are not. Few are. Even among those who pay that price.”

I understand,” Lisa waved it off. “I… really should learn more about Faerie and it’s people than I can from the Books. Especially being the Heir of Hyrilius and all.”

The siblings both cocked their heads in the same way. “Books?”

At this, Lisa blinked. “You don’t know? I thought the 4 were like Hyrilius. They’re the source of magic, or the rules, or something like that. Passions, Tranquility, Reason and Madness?”

Zephyrus shook his head, “I’ve heard of the concepts, but nothing about a source of magic. Magic… is. There is no one source of it any more than there is a source for gravity. Perhaps that is another difference between the Blue World and the Green.”

Huh.” said Lisa. “That’s definitely something to look into. All my information about them came from someone who wasn’t all that stable to start with, so maybe there’s more thing find out—maybe all of it is wrong.”

That’s not good, is it?” asked Juniper, who was seated across from the siblings, “Almost everything we know about Faerie is from the Books, and if we’re wrong about them, we might be wrong about a lot. Not great when we’re talking about you know what with you know who?” She gave a meaningful glance toward the front of the bus. Treshawn and Heather were not in on the secondary objectives of the tour.

No, it’s not,” agreed Zephyrus, “But whatever we can provide, we will. I’ll admit that our knowledge is limited beyond the High Soder daoine, but we can at least corroborate what information you have from these Books.”

Lisa nodded. “Much appreciated. After we’re done with our plans this evening, we should talk.”

***

It actually took longer navigating Los Angeles traffic to reach the parking garage where the RV had been delivered than it took to reach San Gabriel after leaving the city behind. Juniper drove, having gotten some experience driving her parent’s RV.

I thought we were looking for the old Spanish Mission,” Callie was looking out the windows, watching the city going past. The Spanish villa style of the city’s architecture had given way as they followed Lisa’s scrying for the epicenter of the Avalon reaction into the poorer area of town. Palms still lined the streets, those streets were less well maintained, the apartments more tightly clustered.

So did I,” Lisa admitted, “It seemed like the best best when we knew it was in this city but…” Jun, stop.

The RV drew to a halt in front of a house separated from its neighbors by chain link fencing and several yards of rusted out cars, appliances and other piled items. A sign hung over the walkway that snaked through the entrance: ‘Delgado Junk Sellers’.

Juniper turned back to Lisa. “Are you sure?”

That’s where the scrying points. Considering Hyrilius was active thousands of years ago, it’s possible these things have moved around a lot and some really could be in junk yards or dumps.”

No way it’s going to be this easy,” Cyn said, “Are you two just going to walk up there and buy whatever it is for twenty bucks like it’s a yard sale?”

Lisa and Icthiani had made their way over to the side door. In addition to Icthiani’s disguise, Lisa had a glamor up making her look like a dark-skinned Hispanic girl with short hair dressed in a white blouse and jeans. The two magic users were going in first with the hopes that their senses could locate whatever they were looking for faster without drawing the attention or response a large group might.

Is it took much to hope,” Lisa asked, “Just this once?”

We both know that’s not happening,” said Cyn, “Not with magic. There’s always a catch, or weirdness, or a weird catch. Just remember the signal—you say the word and we’ll come running.”

Right,” said Lisa, “Wish us luck.”

Luck!” Juniper and Glass said at the same time, thought Juniper’s exuberance almost drowned Glass’s voice out.

The pair exited the RV, Icthiani trailing slightly behind Lisa as they started up the walk. They were silent as they passed under the sign and onto the property itself. After only a few steps in, Lisa muttered a curse. Her erstwhile partner glanced at her askance.

It’s not going to be that easy,” Lisa explained in low tones as she kept walking. “Look around.”

Icthiani did.

Contrary to what they’re seen from the RV earlier, the junk yard wasn’t filled with the typical run down cards and other common domestic castoffs. There were wagons and carriages ranging from the covered land ships reminiscent of pioneer days, to iron-domed, fancy-wheeled affairs that might have started their lives as pumpkins in fairy tales. A Viking dragon ship lay on its side atop a stone sarcophagus, and broken marble columns. There were suits of armor of every make and era, farm tools of bygone times, saddles, old munitions, a cannon and the rusted hulk of a tank.

Nothing seemed to be in working order or even salvageable without hard work, and it was strewn about with the care of a tornado having gone though a swap meet.

Some of it is magical in nature,” Icthiani concluded. “My demon can smell it.”

And that’s why it’s not going to be that easy,” said Lisa, “Anyone who can just leave this much magic, whether it works or not, in their front yard is someone we need to take seriously. Be ready.” They had reached the house at the end of the walk.

Unlike the contents of the junkyard, the house hadn’t changed. It was still a modest-sized ranch, no attached garage, with boral villa roofing and a small porch surrounding the front door where a rocking chair sat with a cartoon stuffed cat atop it, holding a sign that said ‘Welcome’.

Beyond a screen door, the light blue inner door bore a copper sun icon above a knocker.

After steeling herself, Lisa rang the doorbell.

The door opened almost immediately. Behind it stood a Hispanic man; dark skinned with a full mustache and light, scruffy goatee. Black curls fell to just around his shoulders. He was ageless, less in the way some people looked like they could be much younger than they were and more like weathered wood, where it was hard to tell if the wear came from the passage of time or from a hard life.

A thin cigarette dangled from his lips and he puffed out a cloud of smoke that smelled like burning chocolate as he pushed open the screen door. At no point did he speak.

Lisa cleared her throat. “Good evening sir. We’re–”

The man pulled the cigarette from his lips. “I know who you are. To a certain extent. You can’t glamor over what you don’t know is there. It’s about time the Heir of Hyrilius made their way here.” He stepped back, gesturing for them to come inside. “The real question is, do you even know what you’re here for? Or what you’re actually the heir to.” He smirked, “The word I would use is… ‘a mess’.”

To Be Continued…

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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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3 Comments

  1. Interesting font choice. Thanks for the chapter!

  2. Typos

    here and there was well.
    here and there as well.

    then glass,
    then Glass,

    not prepared pay
    not prepared to pay

    “Is it took much
    “Is it too much

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