- Descendants: LA #25 – Merchandise Driven Part 1
- Descendants: LA #26 – Merchandise Driven Part 2
- Descendants: LA #27 – Merchandise Driven Part 3
- Descendants: LA #28 – Troubled Production Part 1
- Descendants: LA #29 – Troubled Production Part 2
- Descendants: LA #30 – Troubled Production Part 3
- Descendants: LA #31 – Troubled Production Part 4
- Descendants: LA #32 – Troubled Production Part 5
- Descendants: LA #33 – The Sixth Ranger Part 1
- Descendants: LA #34 – The Sixth Ranger Part 2
- Descendants: LA #35 – The Sixth Ranger Part 3
- Descendants: LA #37 – The Sixth Ranger Part 5
Cameron hit Ramona full-on, knocking her to the ground and doing her level best to gouge her claws into her chest. The remarkable material Felix had gotten from the original Descendants team, however resisted remarkably, leaving her scrabbling at Ramona ineffectually like a dog trying to dig through asphalt.
After getting over the initial shock of hitting the ground, Ramona sent mass to her fists and started pounding on the transformed woman’s ribs. When that didn’t work, she instead shifted all her mass to her head and drove her forehead into Cameron’s, stunning the other woman enough to allow her to slide out from under her.
“Get back here!” Snarling, Cameron grabbed her by the back of her shirt and dragged her back.
Unable to free herself, Ramona allowed herself to melt into a semisolid, flowing out of the uniform and leaving Cameron holding just a set of empty clothes.
After having to melt and reform so often down in the mine, Ramona had little difficulty in recovering this time, though she allowed her legs to remain fused and partially in a puddle on the floor to give her greater stability. Now that she knew she could easily shrug off whatever damage Cameron could do, mobility wasn’t an issue, avoiding being knocked around was.
While Cameron tried to tear the uniform apart, Ramona slithered forward and lunged forward, hammering her now-oversized fists into the other woman. The Purify Humanity enforcer raised her arms to guard, trying to turn a beating into a boxing match, but Ramona was relentless, sending wild but powerful bows into her ribs, her shoulders, even her head, thanks to being able to reach around Cameron’s guard with her malleable limbs.
A full minute of wild flailing finally sent the hybridized woman to the ground senseless.
Ramona couldn’t believe it. Her hated powers had given her an advantage in a fight against an experienced foe. She’d won her first fight as a superhero. First two, actually, if she counted her initial confrontation with Cameron. Staring at the twitching woman, she remembered how quickly the she’d recovered before and snatched up her uniform and went through the belt to find the zip-cuffs.
By the time she found them, the sound of an approaching motor was echoing through the mine; a motor she recognized and if she was still in her normal body, she would have heaved a sigh of relief when Felix and Lydia roared into the cavern.
“Hey!” Lydia called, levitating herself off the bike. “Looks like you’ve already gotten everything well in hand here!” She then paused to let out a nervous cough. “Oh… and you’re all kinds of naked.”
Ramona instinctively grabbed her uniform to shield herself with. “There’s an explanation to this, I swear.”
“Ah, I’m sure it could’ve happened to any of us.” Felix chuckled as he stepped off his bike. As he surveyed the downed guards and the penned in hostages, he added, “Except… ya know… to me. ‘Cause of the cyborg thing. It’d take a jaws of life to get me naked once I’m armored up.”
“Not. Funny.” Ramona did her best to glare at him.
He waved it off. “No, it’s super-funny. You just can’t see it right now ’cause you’re naked.” By then, he reached the first pen with hostages in it. The people inside were starting to stir from the action outside of their prison. Felix took note of this and gave a friendly wave while extending a plasma cutter from his other arm.
“Howdy folks. Never fear, the cavalry has arrived and we’ll be getting you home as soon as possible thanks to Descendants: LA and our newest teammate, Glass.” He nodded in her direction. “Take a bow, Glass—you earned it!”
“–over thirty members of the violent anti-descendant group Purify Humanity have been incarcerated on federal kidnapping and gun charges and the cell’s leader, Phyllis Cameron will also face charges on possession of the controlled super-power granting substance known as ‘Gold’.”
A graphic featuring the Purify Humanity members being loaded into police vans played as the anchor for the local news provider continued to speak. “The freed hostages credit Los Angeles-based superhero team Descendants LA for defeating the group, especially new addition, Glass.
“As of yet, News Provider Eight has not file photos or video of this mysterious new heroine, but tune in tonight at eleven with an exclusive interview with our own Eli Perry and final hostage, Samuel Wilkins to hear about his abduction, time in captivity, and eventual rescue.”
Ray raised his beer at the screen. “And about how amazing Glass was today, but we all know that already.”
The rest of the team, sitting around the living room of the Descendants LA apartment applauded—even Icthiani after some prompting. Felix even added an enthusiastic whistle and Lydia let out a whoop as well. Sitting at the center of the big couch, Ramona lowered her head and demurred at the praise. That might have been the end of it if Lydia and Felix hadn’t started chanting “ Speech! Speech! Speech!”
If she were still able, Ramona would have been blushing as she held up her hand to calm the pair down. “Guys… I already told you: I didn’t do anything special aside from stumbling around and lucking out in that my powers were able to help me.”
“How’s that anything different from what we do every time?” ask Lydia.
Ramona rolled her eyes. “You say that, but you all have been training for this. Loshuia was even in an actual military. Me? I only just figured out how to fight with my powers on the spot today. If I hadn’t… I don’t know what would have happened.”
Reaching over to her, Ray put his hand on her shoulder. “Lyds is right, actually. We’ve all had to learn new tricks and make mistakes in the field. Hell, when we first started this, we had to figure out how to work together at all, much less be effective with out powers.”
“Sometimes we still don’t have that down,” Loshuia added. “And as for myself, I had much to learn as we went along. Non-lethal tactics for one. Most people think my air-based techniques are naturally non-lethal, but but most of my techniques are meant to slash and crush my enemies—as Felix would put it: hardly heroic.”
Lydia nodded. “And let’s not forget, you came into this just expecting a search and rescue mission and had zero combat training, yet you kicked the asses of a whole mine full of human-supremacist assholes including one chica with superpowers all on your own. You have to admit you did well.”
“I… guess I did,” Ramona said quietly.
At that admission, Lydia clapped her hands in victory. “Correct! And that’s why I think there’s not point in putting this off anymore: I think we can all agree that you’ve proven that you’re totally ready to be a full-fledged member of this team, not probationary period necessary.”
Before Ramona could argue, Ray cut her off. “If you’re still worried about being inexperienced, don’t: you’ve been here long enough to know we’ll be training, and we can all work together to get you up to speed on combat the same way we’ve done for each other before: aside from Loshuia, none of us had any hand-to-hand or other combat training before we started coming up with the idea for the team.”
“Hey, I had like a whole year of self defense,” huffed Lydia. Then she smirked. “Not that any self-defense course is going to teach you how to safely toss a guy with TK, so…”
Shaking his head, Ray chuckled. “Right. Lyds was our combat expert in the early days. And Felix didn’t exactly start out with arms with machine guns and rocket launchers in them.
Ramona leaned forward, clasping her hands in front of herself. “I appreciate everything you guys are saying, but the fact of the matter is, I was alone on this. All my mistakes and missteps only came back on me, like how I just ran from that wolf-woman at first instead of making sure she was incapacitated. And that’s fine, because I found out I’m really hard to hurt.”
She shrugged. “What I’m worried about is what happens when one of you is around and I screw up. If one of you gets hurt or… or worse because of that, I don’t know what I’d do.”
Loshuia spread his hands in a soothing gesture. “Any of us can make a mistake at any time. That is just the nature of all people: human or daoine. However, that is part of why we are a team and not individuals. The people around you can help prevent those mistakes, or correct them before they get worse.”
“So you don’t need to worry about that,” said Felix. “The real question is if, after going through all you did in that mine alone, do you still want to be part of the team?”
“Just like before, no pressure,” said Ray. “We all understand that what happened today wasn’t the best introduction to our world you could have gotten.”
For a long moment, Ramona remained quiet, clasping her hands in her lap. I think… well I have to admit that the thing that sticks in my mind the most is that things might have gone way different today if I hadn’t been there. Whether I bumbled my way through it or not, Lydia would have been alone in the middle of town, the comms would have stayed down, and those goons would have had time to regroup and maybe even grab the hostages for human shields.”
She tried to take a deep breath, but couldn’t. “Um… I made a difference today and I never want to take it back. But… I’m not ready yet. No matter how inexperienced you guys were when you started, I guess I’m not brave enough to rush into it like you. So, if you don’t mind, I think I should still be on probation until I feel like I won’t put you or anyone else in danger.”
“That’s actually a wise choice.” Everyone started a little before realizing it was Icthiani speaking. The daoine woman gave them all a look of annoyance at their attempts to hide their surprise. “More wise than simply allowing oneself to be thrown into a life of constant peril thoughtlessly.”
Lydia smirked. “Some of us like that kind of thing.”
“My point has been soundly made.”
Ray cracked a grin. “So that settles it. Ramona, you’re now an official probie in Descendants: LA.”
“Here, here!” called Felix, “Now considering what happened before, we might want to revisit the design of your costume. Last thing we need is someone with a palmtop to catch a video of you running around naked.”
End Descendants LA: Volume 3