- Descendant 108 – Lost Angels – Chapter 01
- The Descendants 96 – Kill Hope
- The Descendants 97 – Heir of Hyrilius
- The Descendants 98 – The Precocious Prodigy
- The Descendants 99 – Huddled Masses
- Descendant 108 – Lost Angels – Chapter 02
- The Descendants 100 – Paradigm Shift
- The Descendants 101 – The Battle of Freeland House
- Descendants Special #9 – Outted
- The Descendants 102 – Tales of Consequence
- The Descendants 103 – VIRAL
- The Descendants 104 – Hardcore Fans
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium – Chapter 01
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium – Chapter 02
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium – Chapter 03
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium – Chapter 04
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium – Chapter 05
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium – Chapter 06
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium – Chapter 07
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium — Chapter 08
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium – Chapter 09
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium – Chapter 10
- Descendants #105 – Gal Gallium Epilogue
- Descendants 106 – The Away Team – Chapter 01
- Descendants 106 – The Away Team – Chapter 02
- Descendants 106 – The Away Team – Chapter 03
- Descendants 106 – The Away Team – Chapter 04
- Descendants 106 – The Away Team – Chapter 05
- Descendants 107 – The Baroque Revival – Chapter 01
- Descendants 107 – The Baroque Revival – Chapter 02
- Descendants 107 – The Baroque Revival – Chapter 03
- Descendants 107 – The Baroque Revival – Chapter 05
- Descendants 107 – The Baroque Revival – Chapter 04
- Descendants Special #10 – The Weight of Responsibility
- Descendant 108 – Lost Angels – Chapter 03
- Descendant 108 – Lost Angels – Chapter 04
- Descendant 109 – Old Devils – Chapter 01
- Descendant 109 – Old Devil – Chapter 02
- Descendant 109 – Old Devil – Chapter 03
Shortly, Laurel returned to let the pair know that she had the Kaines and Tink on video chat and would be transferring them over momentarily.
Warrick and Cyn waited in agonizing silence for what could have only been a minute or less, but which felt like a week. Back straight, hands clasped behind them, they looked as if they were facing a firing squad.
The chat screen appeared, split between the Kaine family including Warrick’s sister, Tammy on the left all sitting on the couch in their living room; and Tink, sitting ramrod straight in one of the office chairs found in the LSI headquarters.
“H-hey everyone.” Warrick gave a small wave.
“Whoa,” said Tammy, “Warrick?”
They waves again, “and Cyn. I’m here too.”
Mrs. Kaine leaned forward. “Oh my goodness… are you two okay? Does that hurt? A-are you okay?”
To this, they shrugged. “I’m… we’re okay, Ma. It didn’t hurt and it’s not like we’re crammed in here together. It’s just kinda… awkward?”
“To be fair, I’ve been making it awkward,” Cyn smirked. “Also the telepathy. The telepathy is super-awkward because we can’t reliably turn it on or off. Got a whole new respect for Kareem.”
Mr. Kaine raised an inquisitive eyebrow. “Telepathy?”
Another shrug. “Not even sure if that’s what it is. Since we’re fused, it’s like our minds are touching? I guess? We know what each other is thinking, can read memories—things like that. We can’t do it to other people as far as I can tell.”
“Yeah, it’s been a real bonding experience. Also, I got to feel what it’s like to win a science fair.”
Mrs. Kaine wrung her hands. “Laurel said this happened because there was a ‘magic accident’? How did this… can they fix it?”
“God, I hope so.”
“I’m sure they can. Ms. Brant and Lisa and Kay—and this whole group of mages we know are on it. But I guess we better explain everything so you all don’t have to worry.” Warrick proceeded to do so, starting from the intention of discovering something that could be used against Maeve and her forces in the Yellow World artifact to the precautions taken and the result.
He skipped the part where Cyn bastardized Warpstar’s catchphrase and seemingly activated the device, but his friend quickly admitted to it and expressed her remorse.
Finally, they both explained why they were in quarantine. Everyone on the call had heard Cyn’s story about the Yellow World invasion of Device World, and so the connection was easy to draw. Soon, the story tuned into rambling about their speculation and powers and then to setting up the call itself.
When they were done, silence once more feel over the group.
“Well…” Mr. Kaine started slowly, trying to put his words together exactly the way he wanted. “It sounds like there’s still something to worry about: How are they going to know whether or not you’re… is infected the right word for this?”
“Yeah,” Tammy cut in. “Is there a yellow power detector spell or something?”
“Sort of? I mean it sounds like they have some idea how to detect it, they just don’t know how to… interpret it right now.”
They gave a nod thanks to Cyn. “And that’s why we’re on the other side of the planet in a magic bubble. Keeping the world safe by sitting on our ass. But no worries; I’m not feeling any less me. Plus even if that thing was still alive, it already knows what it’d get if it messed with me.”
“At least you’re on Earth this time. I guess that’s something,” said Mr. Kaine.
“Is there anything we can do for you? Can we send you things?” Mrs Kaine looked just as concerned now as when they’d begun, but was doing well in keeping her expression schooled. “Is there something you want?”
“I’m pretty sure Ms. Brant can find a way of sending things here without posing a danger, b—”
Cyn cut Warrick off by shouting at him mentally so the others couldn’t hear. “Ask for cookies or a pie or something!”
“What?” It took a lot of self control to keep himself from speaking his reply, “Why? We can’t eat them like this and who knows how long it’ll be before we’re back to normal? They might go bad.”
“Dude, look at them: they’re all trying not to freak out about this.”
Her meaning filtered through more strongly than her words. Every other time the Kaines had learned about something happening to Warrick, it was either after the fact like when he turned up after being kidnapped by the Academy, or happening in such a way that there was nothing they could do about it, like when he was stuck in Faerie.
This, however was an opportunity in their eyes to actually help. Never mind that they couldn’t actually help—they could feel like they were doing something and that could matter just as much.
“Uh… I wouldn’t want to make you guys go through any trouble…” Warrick said aloud to save the fact they’d gone quit for a moment.
“But… if one of those cinnamon apple cobblers from that bakery down the street from you guys should find its way here, we’d totally appreciate it,” Cyn followed up. “And of course the Italian stereotype: pasta send lots of pasta. Tell Grammie Kaine!”
That cut the tension as the Kaines all smiled at the memory of several holidays now where Cyn was a guest welcomed as a member of the family. Where the McAllisters balked at having to feed her bottomless stomach, Warrick’s paternal grandmother in particular took it as not just a personal challenge, but her masterpiece.
“I can do that,” Mr. Kaine said, “Of course I think I’ll leave some parts out for her sake.”
The combined pair gave him two thumbs up. “You’re the best Mister K!”
Warrick nodded. “Definitely. But look: don’t worry too much. We’ve dealt with weird stuff before. It’s just a little more out there this time.” He made it a point to spread their arms and look down at their body. “Way more out there. Just give it time. As soon as we’ve got a fix, you’ll be the first to know. And if it takes a while… well we’ll be in touch.”
“You call us any time. Even if you just need to talk about this, okay, baby?” said Mrs. Kaine.
“And if you need someone to take over your patrols, I’m just a train ride away!” Tammy added.
“You two take care of each other,” added Mr. Kaine. “And let us know the moment there’s news.”
“We will,” said Warrick. “you guys don’t know how much it means to me—to us—to have you all out there pulling for us. I love you all.”
“Same!” Cyn chimed in.
Echoing their own ‘I love yous’ and goodbyes, the Kaines disconnected. The chat box expanded so only Tink remained on screen.
Warrick rubbed the back of their head, noticing idly that their ‘hair’ didn’t turn into strands when rubbed, only when they actively ran fingers through it. “So… I noticed you didn’t say a lot on the call…” Or anything, in point of fact. His girlfriend hadn’t said a word since the call began.
She ducked her head, embarrassed and a little ashamed. “It didn’t feel like my place. They’re your family and all. Plus they’re kind of Cyn’s family too.”
“There’s no ‘kind of’ about it, copper-top! If Mom didn’t adopt me, I’m sure they would have!”
As Cyn reacted in the expected way, Warrick was talking too, which made their shared mouth do interesting things that made Tink cringe to see it—which didn’t stop his words from landing with a resounding weight.
“You’re my family too.”
He paused, nothing the stunned silence both inside his new, liquid metal skull and without. “Um…”
“Oh no, you’re not walking that back,” Cyn verbally barged over him. “You heard him, and I can confirm as someone living in his brain-space right now that he one hundred percent means it.” Her eyes narrowed. “Wait a minute. You two have said ‘I love you’ right?” A moment’s worth of memory rummaging confirmed it, “Right. So why are you—both of you so shocked by that?”
They and Tink took a moment just staring at each other, much to Cyn’s annoyance.
“It’s just never been put like that before,” Tink said in a small voice. “I don’t know. Warrick talks about his family a lot, and I love my parents and brothers and sisters too, but… I don’t think it’s the same as how he feels.” She was blushing of only a small bit. “And if you feel that way about me…”
Warrick broke eye contact. “I mean yeah. I feel that way. I get if you don’t feel the same way now though.”
“Oh my god, you nerd. Is this real right now? We are both too old for this teenaged melodrama, War!”
On screen, Tink leaned forward. “Warrick? Did you think I’d stop caring ab… stop loving you because you got transformed?” She scrubbed a hand over her face in her own frustration. “I’m a human nanite colony server. Okay? Sometimes that freaks me out and yet you never batted an eye learning about that. It goes both ways! And… okay, I’m going to admit that when Laurel said you were ‘fused’ with Cyn, I was concerned about it being in a more… body horror… kind of way than it turned out being. And even then…”
“Told you we were hot,” Cyn preened. “Even nerd girl wants a piece.”
“That is not what I’m saying at all,” Tink said flatly.
Cyn stuck their tongue out. “Too bad. Already put that image in his head.”
“Because you’re literally forming that imagine and pushing it on me!”
Tink held in a laugh. “Warrick; even if you became a fifty-foot purple gorilla, I’d still be here for you, okay?”
“When you say ‘be here’…” Cyn started before Warrick compelled their mouth to seal shut. “Mmph!”
“As much as I appreciate that this is a big opportunity for you, Cyn—you two are still in quarantine.” Her triumphant expression at the taunt soon melted away into self-consciousness. “A-and besides; that kind of subject is something Warrick and I would have to discuss in private.”
Cyn narrowed their eyes, keen on pressing her advantage. “Oh no you don’t: this lovely silver dollar is just as much mine as it is War’s. So any decisions on how it gets used and how vigorously is also up to me.” She folded their arm and turned up their nose.
“Cyn,” Warrick growled irritably.
She wasn’t done with her teasing yet though. “And not that I’m totally against girls or anything? But you’re not my type.”
“How is it possible for you to have made this more awkward!?” Warrick groaned.
“It’s a talent,” Cyn grinned. “Besides, I’m not the one that put gorillas on the table.”
At this point, Tink was hiding her blush behind her fingers. “Just another reason to do everything in my power to get the two of you split up again. Warrick, I just want you to know that yes, I still love you no matter what you look like. And Cyn, I wish you… no specific harm.”
“Just keep in mind that I will be the one throwing your eventual bachelorette party and consider it practice, copper-top.”
Tink rolled her eyes. “Anyway… I don’t want to get any hopes up, but I’ve been watching and listening to what our resident and on-call magi are talking about and I just wanted to let you know I have a few ideas… at least on the ‘Yellow world infestation’ front.”
Cyn immediately thought to point out that this would be a way to end their quarantine without ending the fusion, but Warrick silenced her with his sheer desperation not to follow that line of thinking—which amused her enough to let him have that one.
“What kind of idea?” he asked.
“Detection and containment. Like I said, I don’t want to get your hopes up too much, especially when I’ve only really dipped my toe into magitech, but if you give me time, I might be able to design something that can keep any Yellow World weirdness contained directly to you.”
To Be Cotinued…