Descendants Giant-sized #2 – After-Party

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series The Descendants Vol 6: Returns and Departures
It wasn’t long before the downstairs commons was filled with frightened and confused chatter.
 
Kareem ran his fingers through his hair. He and the others had a lot of work to do.
 
I’ve got the weapons. Warrick volunteered. Without waiting for a reply, he went over to the man Lily had tased and delivered a stinging backhand to his temple to keep him down while he divested of him of his rifle, tac harness and the sidearm in his shoulder holster.
 
While he was doing that, Juniper made her ice knife vanish up her costume’s sleeve and looked over the room. “Is everyone alright?” She called. “Is anyone hurt?”
 
From where he was still lying on the ground, Ollie groaned and reached around to feel the places where the door fragments hit him. His costume was shredded in places, but there was no blood, only bruises. “I’m okay. Thought I wasn’t but I guess I am.”
 
Looking mildly shell-shocked, Malcolm nodded in agreement. Behind them Melissa looked faint and was eying the toppled remains of the refreshment table.
 
Footsteps tromped down the stairs and Callie returned with Tink and Lisa on her heels. The speedster was carrying a hastily tied bed sheet that clattered as she moved. “Everything’s clear upstairs. I tied everyone up and Jesus, look at all the weapons they had on them. Some of this stuff, I don’t even know what it is.”
 
The police are on their way.” Tink reported. Her eyes strayed to the bed sheet, curious about what new tech might be inside. “Is everyone okay down here? Do we need to can an ambulance too?”
 
Tammy shrugged and gestured to the leader of the group, who was still pinned under the refreshment’s table. Kura was sitting on top of the overturned table to keep him in place. “I heard a crunch when Kura tipped the table over on this guy, but I’m sure he can wait.”
 
She aimed her torch at him and let purple sparks dance across the flames. “And in the meantime, he’s going to explain what the hell he was really doing here.”
 
Get screwed, you little whore!” the leader wheezed.
 
Tammy gave him a savage look, then grinned. “Hey Soot? You know where the really delicious hair is?”
 
Can we please not use Soot to torture people?” Maya begged, having pressed herself as flat against the wall as she could get.
 
The leader cursed at her again and suddenly, he shivered, tears welling up in his eyes. “I-I’m sorry! Please don’t. Don’t!”
 
After a split second of confusion, Tammy shot a surreptitious glance over to find that Melissa, though she looked ready to pass out, was staring intently at him. That explained his sudden terror. “I won’t—if you explain what’s going on. And I don’t want to hear ‘bitch’ or ‘whore’ or anything bad about descendants while you do.”
 
Meghan bumped Warrick’s shoulder as he was standing up from disassembling one of the rifles. “Was this for real? It’s like something out of a movie.”
 
Looking around the room, Warrick saw that she wasn’t the only one that found the interrogation to be entertaining. Most of those who hadn’t slumped as the adrenaline of the past few minutes wore off, or who were visibly shaken, were watching the exchange, or even taking video with their palmtops.
 
There was nothing for it though. The attack had been too brazen and out in the open. It had happened and the world (or at least Mayfield) was going to know about it.
 
Warrick nodded. “Yeah, it’s real.” He spoke a bit more loudly than necessary so other people could hear. “Miss Brant is rich, really public about her work with the Liedecker Institute and Descendants Rights Worldwide, and Miss Keys is pretty much the same. It was only a matter of time really.”
 
Remembering what people were going to see if they looked out the front windows, he added. “She saw it coming too. The front yard is rigged with a state of the art anti-terrorism system.”
 
Back with her captive, Tammy only had to spark up her torch one more time before the leader broke.
 
Alright!” He proclaimed, “The pro psi–” More purple sparks made him change the word, “–descendant bi—chick that lives here hacked our employer’s system. We came here to figure out what and wipe her hard drives.”
 
Oh please.” That was Lily, and she was doing an excellent noblewoman’s laugh. “Laurel Brant is part of the crème de la crème. What would she need to hack anyone for? She could have a whole staff of nerds do it for her.”
 
Tammy glared at her. “Are you serious with this? I’m not even sure you were even actually invited and yet just tonight, you managed to almost get me killed, my friends killed and your friend killed. Just do us all a favor and shut up!”
 
Being Lily, Lily paid no heed to any of this. “Speaking of which, that was amazing what you just did. Are you three girls represented? Because I am so good at this super-agent thing. Tell me your Quintessence names and I’ll beam you my card, we can do lunch and I can make you millions.”
 
In an instance, Callie was by her friend’s side. Even if her friend was selectively oblivious, she could see how close Tammy was to sending a bolt of electricity into the rich girl. “Um, Lily? Kim is a little out of sorts. Maybe you could look after her and make sure she gets calm?”
 
‘Out of sorts’ was an understatement. Kim was on the couch crying out her pent up fear. Lily’s eyes widened when she saw this. “Kim! Oh my god!” She ran over as fast as the implausibly high heels of her costume would allow her.
 
Callie breathed a sigh of relief and offered Tammy a half-smile. “Um… carry on?”
 
Right.” Tammy turned a scornful eye back to the squad leader. “Now, who—“
 
Wait!” Kura said, leaning forward. “I wanna do it! I’m probably never going to have another chance to ask and I always wanted to ask this—remember we didn’t get to do it with those guys are Spring Break.”
 
Tammy rolled her eyes. “Fine. Go for it, Kura.”
 
With a happy squeal, Kura pointed dramatically down at the villain trapped beneath her. “Who do you work for!” While she did her best to make her voice intimidating, it just sounded like she was trying to ruin her vocal cords out of spite.
 
The leader resisted, but was suddenly assaulted not only by the fear Melissa was pumping into him, but directly by Kareem, who roughly stripped back his reticence and determination. The words tumbled from his lips. “M-my name’s Leonard. Leonard Cuccinelli. I’m an agent for the Interstate Psionics Bounty Agency.” His eyes went round and genuinely fearful as he realized what he’d done.
 
Which,” Kareem said, crossing his arms, “Has no license to operate in Virginia. It seems that you’ve just put your agency in a great deal of legal trouble, Mr. Cuccinelli.”
 
***
It was nearly eleven by the time things started to return to normal. The police had arrived, but then had to wait for the fire department to bring chainsaws t remove a number of the IPBA goons from where the defense system had plastered them to the front walk. After that, everyone at the party had to give statements, the broken entrances secured, and one very angry and confused woman fished out of Lake Standish.
 
Most of the guests decided to call it a night after that, but a surprising number stayed.
 
Sorry I didn’t get to talk to you two before all the crap happened.” Warrick was saying to Ron and Jamie, two of his gaming friends.
 
Jamie, who was wearing a tunic made to look like animal hide with a horned helmet and toy battle ax shrugged. “Not like it was your fault or anything. But then again, maybe we should have expected it: you are, after all a man who lives a life of danger.”
 
It took Warrick a panicked second to realize she was making a joke about his costume. “Oh—ha—yeah, well her Majesty Miss Brant’s secrets remain safe for another day.”
 
By the way,” Ron piped up. He had on a brown robe, wizard hat and fake beard. “That grappling hook is awesome! Where did you buy it?”
 
Warrick coughed, “Um, I didn’t actually. Tink built it for me. You know how she is with tech stuff. The bow tie launches talcum powder for quick escapes too.”
 
So cool.” grinned Ron. “By the way, is Tink still hear yet? I wanted to say hi before we left. Gaming’s just not the same without her.”
 
She’s somewhere around here. We were planning to stay here tonight seeing as she needs to hop a plane back to England tomorrow, but Callie caught some of those guys in my room, so it’s an active crime scene right now…” He was going to comment more on that turn of events, but at that moment, he found Tink and she was talking to… “Oh, crap.”
 
***
So you’re Tink.” Meghan smiled at the silver-painted redhead. “The way Warrick talks about you, it’s really exciting to get to meet you finally. Nice paint job, by the way.”
 
Um… thanks.” said Tink swirling her punch around in the cup. “I… I’m going to be honest: Warrick never mentioned knowing any orc jet pilots—and I figured that’d be something he’d talk about.”
 
Meghan laughed and winked. “The pilot part’s just a costume. I’m Meghan. I have a class with him?”
 
Oh! Hello, Meghan.” Tink said, going to shake her had. “Warrick mentioned having a friend in his mythology class. Nice to meet you.”
 
A small sigh of relief escaped Meghan’s lips as her shoulders relaxed. “Thank god he’s talked to you about me. Like a second after I introduced myself, I had this flash that maybe he never said anything about me and then this might have turned into a big old cat fight. And now that I’ve met you? You’ve kind of got a reach advantage.”
 
Now it was Tink’s turn to laugh. “As much as a costumed cat-fight might sound like exactly the kind of birthday present Warrick might want, it’s not going to happen. Besides, if I was the jealous type, Warrick’s life would make my brain melt.
 
You see the pirate girl over there?” She pointed at Cyn. “That’s his best friend. Her and the evil sorceress on the couch, plus the trench coat chick all lived with him here up until college. War only has like three close male friends. The rest? All cute girls.”
 
Meghan snorted as she looked around. “Wow, never thought of it like that.”
 
Tink waved it off. “There’s not much to think about. Anyway, I hope it’s not rude of me to ask, but Warrick mentioned that you have a robotic prosthetic arm…”
 
And he mentioned that you’re a serious techie.” said Meghan. “I’d show you, but the costume and all. I can give you my Quintessence name thought; I’ve got all sort of pics and specs up there about.” She rolled her wrist. “I’m still not totally used to it. It’s only been a year since I got it.”
 
Maybe I can come up with some ideas to trick it out.” Tink suggested lightly.
 
A thoughtful glint came to Meghan’s eye. “That sounds cool. You know I’m a robotics major myself. If we put our heads together, maybe something interesting will happen.”
 
Ready to go, babe?” Hank, Meghan’s boyfriend asked, slipping up to her side. “We’re already way late to you professor’s thing.”
 
Meghan groaned. “I actually forgot about that.” To Tink she said, “Sorry to disappear so quickly, but he’s right. Look me up, on Quintessence, okay? Warrick knows my name there.”
 
Sure thing.” Tink said, waving as they made for the door. She took a sip of her punch and headed over to find a place to sit a while, completely oblivious to the ulcer she might have been giving Warrick just by talking to Meghan.
 
***
Are you okay?” Juniper asked, leaning over a girl in a mouse costume who was sitting silently in a corner of the downstairs commons.
 
Um… yeah. I’m fine.” said the mouse, looking up at her. Her eyes were wet and puffy. She’d probably cried once the tension of the standoff wore off on her. “You’re Juniper, right?”
 
Juniper nodded. “Yeah. And you’re…”
 
Amy.” the mouse supplied. “Kay’s roommate. Amy Kowalski.” She held out her hand.
 
Shaking it briefly, Juniper leaned against the wall beside her. “It’s okay to be kind of shaken up. My boyfriend is upstairs throwing up right now.” She smiled faintly. It wasn’t that she liked the fact that Malcolm was terror-vomiting in the bathroom of her old room; it was that he was normal enough for that to be his reaction.
 
You’re not.” Amy observed. “And the way Kay talks about you going to shows you’re…” She stopped short, looking for a diplomatic way to put it, “Not the kind of person that would be okay with what just happened.”
 
I hope no one’s ever okay with that sort of thing.” Juniper said truthfully, “But I’m kind of used to it. My parents work with first responders a lot, so I grew up hearing about all sorts of catastrophes. That, and Mayfield’s seen its share of scary stuff too.”
 
She relaxed against the wall and spun more half-truths. “I was once at a crafts expo when the Descendants—they were Life Savers, Inc at the time—fought some guy with fire powers even. Oh, and I was at the parade for Descendants Appreciation Day too.”
 
Amy winced. “I saw that one on TV. They shot that guy with a cannon and didn’t scratch him.” She frowned. “Maybe that’s why I seem to be more freaked than others. People from Mayfield have seen all sorts of crazy things. I’m from Madison. Have you ever been to Madison?”
 
Think I’ve been through Madison.”
 
Ha.” said Amy. “Everyone’s been through Madison; just not in it. We don’t have a lot of explosions or hostage situations or super powered criminals there. I guess it’s like getting to a hot bath—you eventually get used to it.”
 
Juniper looked down at the other girl and smiled. “I guess you’re right. I used to be scared, but now, it’s all really exciting—except when people are about to be shot like tonight. Then it’s back to scary.” For a moment, her expression twisted as she tried to find a silver lining. “Oh, but Callie was here and Warrick’s sister and her friends. So everything worked out okay.”
 
Callie.” Amy said, sounding like she was testing the name out. “Vamanos. That was pretty amazing of her, taking all those guys out upstairs. She’s something else. Are all the other Descendants that powerful?”
 
It’s not really about power.” said Juniper with a shrug. “It’s about how they use their powers. From what I read on PrelateWatch; some of the are so good with their powers that they might be able to use them in a whole group of people and no one would notice.”
 
Amy chuckled. “Imagine if those guys stumbled into a Halloween party and it was one more than just one of the Descendants was at.”

About Vaal

Landon Porter is the author of The Descendants and Rune Breaker. Follow him on Twitter @ParadoxOmni or sign up for his newsletter.

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3 Comments

  1. Oh the laughter I have at Amy’s last comment…

  2. Ultra-high tech, ultra-secure, and last year when their decommissioning was declassified: ultra secret.”
    until last year?

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