Descendant 108 – Lost Angels – Chapter 04

This entry is part 36 of 39 in the series Current

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 something’ quality to your voice right now, TM,” Rebound noted from where he and Glass were watching a movie on his palmtop.

Juniper, sitting sidesaddle in the drier’s seat looked from Teen Machine, to Cyn, then to Warrick, who was in the passenger seat watching the exchange. He shrugged. There was no telling if two schemes would cancel out or multiply.

What’ve you got in mind, teeny bop?” asked Cyn, narrowing her eyes.

Teen Machine narrowed his right back. “First: asking you to never call me that again. Second, I was just thinking: you guys have that cool jet, and I’ve seen Zero on a sweet bike, but none of the rest of you have any way around without Occult teleporting you right?”

Cyn’s expression brightened and her eyes went wide with glee. “Are you talking a battle van?”

I was thinking mobile HQ, but–”

Battle Van!” Cyn declared definitively.

Teen machine laughed. “Sure. I’m thinking first aid equipment, maybe a drone depot on the roof, an all-terrain mode, maybe some kind of weapon emplacements for when you run into something super-tough.”

Glass looked up, looking fairly concerned. “Are you planning to make this into a giant version of one of you bikes?”

I’m thinking of Piccadilly Lily as the name,” he replied, matter-of-factly. “She’d pack as much or a punch as Sally B, and she’d totally be a fortress once I’m done.”

Zephyrus raised an eyebrow. “Do you just… have a list of those ready?”

Teen Machine balked and looked away. “No?”

That would most certainly not have been the last of that, but at just that minute, a buzzing sound came over them, so intense it made the RV vibrate with it.

Shit.” Warrick turned in his seat to look back toward the house Lisa and Icthiani had disappeared into. As he did, the two golden snake bracelets around his upper arms unfurled into a pair of metallic tentacles.

The rest of the heroes in the RV followed suit, with Cyn shifting into her golden, winged Facsimile form and throwing open the door next to the television set. They didn’t get the chance to pile out before the world appeared to shatter into another, leaving them all plunging a few feet into surging, briny water.

They all acted on hard-won instinct; Glass’s legs fused and flattened into an eel-like tail as she grabbed Rebound and swam both of them to the surface. Facsimile wrapped her arms around Zephyrus’s waist and took to the air with him while Zero similarly took flight and held out a hand to the churning surface of the water, creating a miniature iceberg for Teen Machine to cling onto. The twins, Alloy’s summoned tentacles, flattened into two thick ribbons that undulated to drive him to the surface.

Once the initial chaos was over, they found themselves to be just off a rocky shore that blended into a thick forest beyond.

Did anyone have ‘sent to another world’ in the betting pool?” Facsimile asked, coming in to land on the iceberg as Zero added more area for people to regroup. She let go of Zephyrus and looked to the shore.

I didn’t expect that to happen to me again so soon,” Warrick pointed out as the twins pulled him onto the berg as well. As the others arrived on the temporary safe space, he had time to survey their surrounding more. “Thought ‘faerie or alien invasion’ might be in the running here.”

They followed where he was pointing to where the shore retreated further inland. There, partially concealed by the tree cover, was a dark hulk; a formless shape that might have been made of wood or dark brown plastic for all the lack of detail along its surface. But it might have been a living thing, considering the multiple white feathered wings fluttering atop it like those of a cote of enormous, agitated pigeons.

Z? Is this something you recognize?” Rebound asked, watching the thing bob in the waves.

No—oh!” Juniper started, then covered her mouth. “Zephyrus. Right.”

The daoine man nodded his understanding to her, but then shook his head to his leader. “We aren’t getting a good look at it from here, but nothing I’m familiar with that’s that large and flies has feathered wings. Assuming it flies.”

If something that big floats on the water, there might be worse things under the water. Let’s get to shore where we can at least maneuver if we run into trouble,” Rebound surmised.

“’If’” Glass asked, raising an eyebrow.

Trying to be optimistic.”

Still a good idea,” Warrick agreed, “Zero, can you bridge us over?”

Juniper continued to float above the iceberg and nodded. “Sure… but I should actually be Zero for this? We might need all the armor we can get. There could be predators, poisonous nettles or briars, snakes—all sorts of things.”

Also a good idea for the mortals here,” Facsimile agreed. The east coast Descendants reacted accordingly using their D-icons to summon their ballistic cloth costumes. Once that was done, it was a simple matter for Zero to freeze a bridge to the shore.

So fearless leaders,” Teen Machine looked from Rebound, to Alloy to Facsimile in turn, “What now?”

Figure out where we are and what it’s deal is,” Warrick offered, “We might be able to find a way back on our own. Otherwise, we’ll be real thankful Cyn came up with her contingency plan.”

***

Ten Minutes Earlier…

Cyn’s contingency plan, which caused Treshawn so much extra difficulty in getting at short notice, as a green and purple panel van, custom painted with ‘Luigi Bros Plumbing and Demolition’ parked two blocks away with the RV in direct line of sight. Far enough, in Cyn’s reckoning that the occupants would have time to react if ‘any weird magic crap’ happened.

Inside, Kareem sat at the wheel, listening to Descendants LA’s Green Boarder talking with Callie.

“So what’s it like being public? I mean, you’re one of the first heroes to be public, so…” Green Boarder was sitting crosslegged on the metal floor, rocking back and forth slightly while Callie sat atop the old tool chest that came with the vehicle.

Callie fidgeted at the question. “It wasn’t really on purpose. Things were moving fast and Inexorable was at the mall and… Well I guess that’s not what you asked. It’s… kind of cool. Kind of annoying. Getting to do events and getting fanmail and messages is great, but then sometimes you just want to hang out like normal and suddenly people are lining up to get selfies and autographs and you can’t get anything done. It’s not all the time, but enough to be pretty frustrating.”

In the passenger seat beside him, Melissa huffed out an annoyed breath, betraying her attempts to pretend to be reading on her palm-top. She looked up and shared a look with Kareem. Of all the members of the team, they were the most introverted, not going out in public very often without having the others with them. They’d been shielded from the brunt of fame’s downside (and upside), but it wasn’t a foreign concept.

“I just wish I could tell my family,” Green Boarder said with a mildly frustrated sigh, “They think I’m just some loser surf shop girl, doing nothing with my powers while my sister’s the international rescue saint.”

“Why don’t you?” Callie asked immediately.

The Boarder got quiet for a long moment and despite his attempts to close himself off to the thoughts and feelings of others, Kareem felt the dread and trepidation rolling off her. “Hero stuff,” she said slowly, cautiously. “You know, the classic ‘if my enemies knew who I was, they might go after our loved ones? It’s not exactly like that, but we all promised not to let our identities get out because of… one of our enemies.”

Kareem couldn’t help but jump in there. “Our groups have helped one another before. If you need aid concerning this enemy, perhaps we can be of aid?”

Green Boarder pondered this, but whatever she was going to say was cut off by Melissa. “Guys? Where’s the RV?”

Kareem blinked and faced front. He’d been keeping an eye out the whole time… hadn’t he? They had parked with a clear view of the scrapyard and where the RV had parked and yet now that he looked, he could see neither.

Callie and the Boarder rushed to look out the front window as well.

“I was looking, I swear!” Callie said.

“So was I,” Kareem leaned forward. His eyes swept the street before them. Then he closed his eyes and reached out with his mind. A frown creased his features. “They’re still there. Everyone; right in front of us.”

“But…” Callie started.

Melissa held up a hand. “No, he’s right. There’s something wrong going on here. Next car the goes by, try and keep your eye on it.”

The others, sand Kareem, did. A maroon town car drove by a moment later. It reached the intersection between the next block and the other the RV should have been on and…

“Whoa,” said Callie.

“Did it teleport?” asked Green Boarder. For as they watched, the car moved into the intersection and was then immediately on the other side without ever actually being in the intersection.

Melissa pressed her lips together in concern. “It looks like it, doesn’t it? But I’ve been trying to look right at the place we’ve been watching all night and… I can’t. Your eye just skips over it. If you try really hard…” To demonstrate, she squinted at the space. “It… well it hurts.”

“There’s nothing like that on the astral plane,” Kareem noted.

“It’s got to be magic,” said the Boarder. “Right?”

“I wouldn’t rule anything out, at the moment,” said Kareem, unbuckling his seatbelt, “But this is just the thing Cynthia had us in reserve for. We need to move.

To Be Continued in Descendants 109 – Old Devils…

Series Navigation<< Descendant 108 – Lost Angels – Chapter 03Descendant 109 – Old Devils – Chapter 01 >>

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. Thanks for the chapter!

  2. Typos

    Teen machine laughed.
    Teen Machine laughed.

    one of you bikes?”
    one of your bikes?”

    what it’s deal is,”
    what its deal is,”

    Next car the goes
    Next car that goes

    We need to move.
    We need to move.”

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