Descendants 106 – The Away Team – Chapter 05

This entry is part 26 of 39 in the series Current

Metal screamed, accompanied by pops like gunshots that resounded through the cockpit of the rapidly disintegrating Junker mecha. The entire structure quaked as the forces of nature and laws of physics once more took hold as the magic retreated from it’s superstructure.

The look of smug satisfaction on Bill Trembley’s face dissolved into terror as his brain caught up to the fact that his victory of the super-heroine was predicated on the principle that he would be alongside her as they were both crushed into a pulpy red slush under several tons of machinery.

Whatever smugness he’d lost however was recovered by Facsimile who looked him dead in the eye and grinned.

She knew that a lack of magic in the metal meant that more than just nature and physics could act on the hulk of the Junker now.

Something changed in the tenor of the cacophony around them. The shaking slowed and the clatter became a slump as metal that was previously shearing and scraping to pieces began to metal and slough apart instead. Within moments, daylight flooded in as the cockpit split open like a rotten melon.

Bill tried to struggle away, but his fist was still mired in Facsimile’s body and he only managed to get himself turned around with his trapped arm caught behind his back. Struggling, he turned to try and push off, but tripped when the melting Junker began to sink toward the street.

Waiting for them stood Zero, Occult, Sirocco and Vamanos with Alloy at their forefront, one hand outstretched toward the former mecha.

Vamanos gave a shy wave. “Sorry I’m late. My presser with Persephone Sports ran over.” She hugged herself a little, self conscious, “Ironic.”

All good.” Facsimile replied cheerily, ignoring Bill’s struggles to watch her friends as well as the Detroit CLE officers who were approaching. Shifting, she extruded a third arm out of her chest, its fist clamped around Bill’s trapped arm. “Hello, Officer. Got a delivery for you.” With her free hands, she gestured to the slagged mecha, “Sorry about the main piece of evidence, but this guy did kind of shout his name, motive and all that through a loud speaker during the fight. Witnesses probably aren’t a problem.”

The first officer on the scene was a big, dark skinned man whose physique suggested he might have played some football in high school on the defensive side of things. “I tend to agree. Good thing your team happened to be on the scene might have been a lot worse.” He produced a set of cuffs and caught up Bill’s arms when Facsimile shoved him forward. “William Trembley, you are under arrest…”

Facsimile didn’t listen to the rest. As soon as the villain was handed over, she stepped off the slagged remains of the Junker toward the rest of the team. Alloy was the first person she reached. “Where’s ‘Lissa?”

Helping the paramedics,” Alloy replied, turning to fall into step with her. “There’s a few people who go hurt pretty bad when things started up.” He gave her a sidelong look. “You… kept the comm open that whole time. You okay?”

Kept it on on purpose,” Facsimile said, not trying to hide the tiredness in her voice.

Alloy nodded. “You could have gone in there and just messed him up. Would’ve taken ten seconds tops.”

Hmm.” Facsimile grunted, a tiny smirk coming to her face. “Wouldn’t have gotten my point across.”

Wouldn’t have gotten your point across,” Alloy parroted knowingly. “Didn’t doubt you for a minute.”

I know I’m awesome. We’ll talk about it later.” She paused and glanced back at Bill. The fight had gone out of the man entirely. Now completely defeated, he docilely allowed himself to be led off the scene by the police. Absently, she stuck a hand into the hollow of her armpit and pulled out the glowing, green circlet at the center of the Junker fiasco. “What is it about shitty dads and magic giant robots?”

Occult accepted the circlet and stowed it in her satchel. “Sean’s robot was running on a descendant’s power though.”

And I don’t think we should really call either of them ‘dads’,” Zero added timidly.

Sirocco cast his eyes down and pretended not to be listening. Everything being said seemed rather more personal than a stranger should be involved in. Of course he knew what was in the media; Cyn hadn’t kept quiet about her family situation or Sean McAllister after the Descendants’ identities had been revealed. That didn’t mean it was any of his business.

As if sensing his discomfort, Facsimile reached over and punched him in the arm. “Hey,” she said with a smile that wasn’t quite forced, “You’re pretty badass. No wonder Detroit doesn’t need full time superheroes if they’ve got part-timers like you.”

Sirocco blinked and nodded. “Thanks. Though we seriously lucked out that you guy were here.” He lowered his voice, conscious of civilians and press alike approaching the cordon the police had thrown up. “Is… everything okay?”

That earned him a more natural-looking smirk. “Better than I’ve been in a while, but that’s not your problem,” She nodded in the direction of their adoring public. “This looks like a great photo op for Descendants Rights Worldwide, yeah?”

More out of respect for the woman’s privacy than any desire for good press for his organization, Sirocco nodded again. “Sounds like a great idea.”

***

“… are charging William Ellis Trembly of Cornerstone Village with counts of reckless endangerment, destruction of property, assault, and brandishing a deadly weapon. More charges are pending.

Eyewitness reports say that Trembly announced his target as the Child Protective Services office in the area. He was allegedly unaware that the same building houses Detroit’s Descendants Rights Worldwide where Mayfield, VA-based prelate team, The Descendants. Alongside local prelate Aldis James, AKA Sirocco, Trembly’s alleged mechanized war machine, the Junker, was destroyed with minimal loss of life.

Descendants spokesperson, Lillian Goldenmeyer says…”

The video playback went mute. A finger tapped the top of the window and moved it aside onscreen, revealing an AutoCAD program running schematics for an up-scaled version of a plasma lance.

Unbelievable. A drunk scumbag beats us to the plot and then completely screws it up with a hot mic.” The man with the JK tattoo picked up a stylus and started working on the schematics. “And some people say there’s no such thing as luck.”

A female voice scoffed through the computer’s speakers. “Or coincidence that doesn’t go your way. You didn’t think this was going to be as simple as following the plan like a paint-by-numbers? We’re dealing with people who take the third option of two bad choices every day—it’s more amazing that this was a rando instead of the heroes themselves.”

I’m not discouraged. Just pissed,” replied the man. “We’re going to string this out even longer to give them time to get off their guard again.”

I keep telling you,” the voice on the other line sighed, “If they’re even vaguely aware of television, movies or comics in the last century, they’re going to be on their guard the whole time. It’s practically a given that the ‘heroes’ get attacked whenever they go abroad. We honestly should have expected something like this—it was the crux of Plan B, after all.”

The man growled, using the stylus to shape the mechanism he was working on. “This is real life, not some stupid fantasy. We’re manipulating the stereotype, not the rules of reality.”

The woman laughed. “You’re such a sheltered kid. ‘This is reality’ is exactly the kind of thing someone says in a book when they’re about to be proven wrong. We should be better than this.”

Whatever helps you think about it. Just keep on Plan A. Facsimile almost had a freak out over this Trembly guy being an abusive dad. Looks like she’s not exactly over McAllister. Use that.”

Really?” the woman snapped back, “Who do you think you’re talking to? I know what I’m doing and I know more about what’s going on with them than you’re gathering off social media. I’ll do my part, you do yours and the others will do theirs. We’ve got plans. We’ve got contingencies. We don’t have Joy Killer’s ego. We’re going to succeed where he failed.”

***

So,” Warrick was sitting in an arm chair in Cyn’s hotel room, partially framed in the sun setting in the glass sliding doors to her balcony. “It’s later.”

Sprawled on her bed, surrounded by empty takeout containers, Cyn threw a pillow over her eyes and squeezed them closed. “You heard the whole thing on comms. What’d you think?”

Warrick shifted in his seat. “You kept it together real well.”

“’s why I kept the comms on.”

Cyn…”

I probably wouldn’t have gone feral or anything on him… but it felt better having someone listening… who could talk me down if I needed it.”

Glancing out at the cityscape below, Warrick let out a long breath. “You’ve never had issues with that before. Even with Sean.”

Cyn was silent for a moment. After their experience a few weeks prior, he knew that for a fact. “There wasn’t a kid that wasn’t me involved before.”

The guy was very much asking for an ass-beating. You’re not the only one that wanted to oblige him either. But you kept cool. You’ve always kept your cool.”

Until I don’t,” said Cyn. After a pause,s he pulled the pillow off of her face and sat up, looking her best friend in the eye. “So I’m going to be leaving comms on for a while, okay?

Sure.” Warrick said without hesitation, his expression softening even more. “I get that you don’t really…” he struggled for the right word before giving up, “…trust yourself right now. But we trust you. I trust you.”

Cyn nodded. “That’s why I’m keeping the comms open.” Her lips pressed together in a thin line before she added, “Because if I ever do go too far, I’m not going to end up as one of those scumbag heroes you told me about from the Dark Age in comics. The second I snap and hurt someone for no good reason, I’m done.”

Silence hung of the room after this proclamation.

Eventually, after a measure of time neither was sure of, Warrick rose from his seat and moved over to sit on the bed. Cyn scooted over to let him, then didn’t object as he put an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close.

I get it,” he said, voice a little hoarse. “And I promise you none of us will ever let it get to that.”

Cyn relaxed a little into the embrace. “Thanks, War. That’s why I leave the comms on.”

And unbeknownst to them, the bug concealed in the room’s smoke alarm transmitted the whole thing back to malevolent ears.

End Descendants #106

Series Navigation<< Descendants 106 – The Away Team – Chapter 04Descendants 107 – The Baroque Revival – 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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One Comment

  1. Typos

    who go hurt
    who got hurt

    you guy were
    you guys were

    pause,s he
    pause, she

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