Descendants Rewind #0

Descendants Rewind – Descendants In Love

Now you are invited to step back, back into time. The month is February. The year is 2064. A maverick entertainment company called Conquest, LTD is delighting children and teenagers with their electronic entertainment systems and media. To most, ‘prelates’ are a rumor or a myth and modern vigilante laws are a mere glimmer in the eyes of people who are yet to become lawmakers. And most importantly, a legendary trio is about to form in the halls of the Psionic Training and Application Academy in Langley, Virginia.

Truly, such a momentous and hallowed occasion begins with dignity and bearing befitting those involved…

***

“Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod!” Smoke and steam were everywhere as Alexis Keyes scrambled in vain to find a fire extinguisher in the cabinets that lined the kitchen walls. The humidity caused the elaborate, styling bar enabled series of hedgehog-esque spikes that was her hair to collapse into her eyes, making things exponentially more difficult.

Pans clattered out onto the floor as she opened yet another cabinet and brushed aside her hair to peer inside. No fire extinguisher was in evidence. Snarling her frustration, she stood up – directly into the cloud of smoke. A cacophony of wheezing and coughing followed.

Over her own attempts to clear her lungs, Alexis heard the kitchen door open, followed by a fwoosh sound. Moments later, the overhead fan came on, pulling the smoke from the room and revealing her rescuer.

She was dark skinned, a few inches shorter than Alexis, and dressed in pajama bottoms and a tank top. A spent fire extinguisher was cradled in one arm as she surveyed the scene.

“Oh, thank god you found it.” Alexis managed between coughs. “Where was it?”

The other girl smirked. “The hall. They don’t keep one in the kitchen because it has an automated fire control system.” She pointed to a panel on the wall, which was conspicuously open.

“Oh yeah…” Alexis tried to push her hair out of her face, “That.” She herself was swathed in black denim; ripped, black jeans with more zippers that fabric and a jean jacket that was similarly constructed but for the addition of electrical tape over weak seams; it was open to show a faded black t-shirt with the logo for the Riotous Scream on the chest. “See, I had to unplug it.” She concluded lamely.

The other girl blinked at this, but her attention fell on the pot Alexis had been using. It was a blackened ruin with a perfectly round hole bored into it. “I bet I can guess why.” She said, observing the still hot metal from a distance. “Heat manipulator?”

“They are always on us to practice our creativity.” Alexis gave a half laugh, and then turned deathly serious. “Listen, the floor monitor already hates me – you can’t tell. I’ll do anything if you keep this secret for me.”

The other girl didn’t seem to pay any heed. She’d put down the fire extinguisher and was prodding the pot with a wooden spoon. “Rice?” she queried.

“I was making gumbo.” Alexis said hurriedly. “Look—“

“Aside from overdoing it with your powers, are you any good?”

“Are you saying you’ll take a food bribe?”

The other girl straightened up and ran her fingers through her long, glossy hair and gave a devious smile. “It depends on if you’re good. I’m not a fan of cooking for myself; so on the weekends, when the cafeteria only does breakfast and dinner, I live on cereal.”

Alexis sniffed and puffed out her not so impressive chest. “I’ll have you know that my dad’s the head chef at a four star restaurant. He taught me everything I know about cooking.”

“Including melting pots?” the other girl teased.

“I did that kind of on my own.” Alexis admitted sheepishly. “Do we have a deal or not?”

“Deal.” The other girls smiled, extending her hand. “By the way, I’m Laurel Brant, hyper-cog”

Alexis stared dumbly at the offered hand. “Did you just say ‘Brant’? As in ‘Brant Industries’ Brant? As in Dwayne Brant, one of the twenty richest men in the America?”

“That’s my grandpa.” Laurel smiled, “Though technically, he just signed over the company to my dad, so that’d be ‘as in William Brant, the fifteenth richest man in America’.” She noted the stunned look on Alexis’s face. “Is that going to be a problem? I mean I try to not play that up and…”

Alexis shook her head. “N-no, that’s fine. I’ve just never been this close to a celebrity before. I mean I once saw Tommy Faraday on the street and Prometheus was at the open house back in September, but you’re like right here.”

“I’m not actually famous.” Laurel said, waving her hands as if trying to clear the fog from Alexis’s head. “Look, forget it, I wasn’t going to tell the floor monitor anyway – she got on my case about all the power my computer equipment draws and now she’s on my bad side.” She turned to leave.

“Wait, no!” Alexis bolted in front of Laurel and blocked her way out of the kitchen. “Look, you don’t want people getting all weird on you. I completely understand that.”

“But here you are.” Laurel noted. “Being weird.”

“It’s not the rich thing though.” Alexis promised, “I need your help.”

Against her better judgment, Laurel gestured for her to go on.

“See,” Alexis began. “there’s this guy – Mike Tatopoulos. He lives on the second floor and he’s…” he struggled for a word, but settled on making yummy noises. “Anyway, I managed not to have a boyfriend again for V-day next week and I want to go with him. The problem is that he’s got this friend, Casey and he won’t go out with anyone unless Casey has a date too.”

Laurel cocked an eyebrow and smirked. “You were going to have Casey date a pot of gumbo?”

Alexis shook her head vehemently. “No, the gumbo was a bribe for my bitchy roommate, Melissa – pretty much the only way to get her to do anything is bribe her with food.” She snarled under her breath. “I can’t believe that I’m going to be bunked with her for the next four years; life blows.”

The situation was completely obvious now. “So,” Laurel began filling in the blanks, “You figure Melissa will sabotage the date anyway and now you have another warm, feminine body to throw at Casey.”

“It sounds so cold and calculating when you say it.” Alexis pouted. “I think of it as ‘now I have a new friend who will gladly go on a double date with me and help me land primo dudeage.”

“That sounds a lot nicer than the way you’re thinking of it.” Laurel chuckled.

Alexis’s eyes widened. “Holy crap, you’re psychic?!”

Laurel burst out laughing, leaning on the counter to keep from falling over. “No, I’m a hyper-cog; really smart. I figured out your MO is all.”

“I really didn’t mean it like that.” Alexis moped. “I mean I’d really like to hang out with you and stuff – I just really want Mike T. more.”

Laurel’s laughter died down. “Look, don’t take it that way. I’m not an empath or a mind reader. I just figured out you had an ulterior motive is all.” Alexis kept her eyes down, avoiding eye contact. Heaving a sigh, Laurel reached out and ruffled Alexis’s hair. “Hey, cheer up. I’ve decided that maybe I want to be your friend too. And friends go on sacrifice fly double dates for one another, right?”

Slowly, Alexis looked up, hesitantly catching Laurel’s gaze. “You’ll really help me?”

“I don’t have anything better to do this weekend and besides, I figure that this will be entertaining. Just give me a couple minutes to change and we’ll go down to the second floor and bag your dudeage.”

***

“Senator Johns, is the United States ready to even contemplate this idea you’re entertaining? Are we, as a nation, willing to go to war with Brazil over the tech divide?”

“This isn’t a question of a technological divide, Barbara. This is a question of national and international security. If it is proven that Brazil is developing these military projects – these particle shields, these orbital weapons systems – both of which are a breech of international law by the way – these cloaking devices and beam based transport systems… I-I can go on Barbara.”

“You’d certainly made your point, Senator.”

“Damn right, I have. If Brazil is developing these technologies for military purposes, they pose a threat to America and the World Affairs Council and I’m certain we would have multilateral support to take a military option.”

The television droned on in the background as the door to the room, which had been slightly ajar, was pushed fully open.

“Alexis!” a voice admonished.

“What? If they were indecent, they’d have closed it all the way. Hello? Anybody home?”

Peering past his book and the overhanging sheets from the top bunk, the boy in the bottom bunk caught sight of two girls standing in his doorway. The book was instantly forgotten as he bounded out of bed. He was fast enough to make the girls jump.

“Uh, hi!” he said, trying to straighten out his sweats and Live Free or Don’t t-shirt. He cleared his throat. “Hello, ladies, what can I do for you?”

“Is this Mike or Casey?” the dark skinned girl asked.

“Neither.” The girl the other calls Alexis said. “I guess he’s the roommate.”

“I—uh—am still standing right here.” He noted. “I’m Ian, Ian Smythe.”

“You wouldn’t know where Mike is, would you?” Alexis asked in a saccharine tone.

“He and his buddy left about and hour ago.” Ian replied, visibly deflating. “He said he was going to see if he could pick up that senior girl that gave us the tour on move in day – the one fast tracking for the Enforcer Corps – Shelly something…”

Flames ignited in Alexis’s eyes. “He’s… going to try and pick some girl up?”

“Are you this week’s girlfriend?” Ian asked, sitting on his computer chair. “My condolences.”

Alexis simply vibrated in place while Laurel put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “I think she was trying to become one at least.” She offered.

Ian nodded and folded his hand. “You’re better off. He’s not very nice to them. Or anyone else for that matter.” He made a face, “Why would you like a guy like that anyway? He’s a jerkass gorilla!”

“But a really hot jerkass gorilla.” Laurel said, still trying to calm Alexis. “Apparently. I never met the guy.”

“I have.” Ian said sourly. “And I’m this close to turning him in for the beer he smuggled in here. And by the way, I don’t even get how that works – the guy’s immune to toxins on top of being strong.”

“Probably for the best.” Laurel admitted. “I can’t imagine what havoc a mix of alcohol and enhanced strength could wreak.”

“Another girl.” Alexis groaned, “And she didn’t have to bring a date for Casey, I bet.” Particles of black heat began to drift off her.

“What’s she doing?” Ian asked, leaning forward in his concern. “Is she okay?”

“Just a little shell shocked.” Laurel said, grasping Alexis by the shoulders. “Alexis, hon? You in there?” she snapped her fingers a few time in her new friend’s face until the girl blinked, causing the black heat to dissipate.

“Valentines is canceled.” Alexis sniffed. “No boys for me. I’m going to end up spending the most romantic day of the year with my ice queen future spinster roommate while every other girl in the world gets a boy.”

“Well, I—“Ian started, puffing out his completely unimpressive chest.

“Wait, a minute!” Alexis suddenly exclaimed, shaking Laurel by the shoulders. “You don’t have a date either! That’s why you were fine with dating Casey. We could have like a girl’s night or something – rent movies, play games – we can even gang up on Melissa to make her have fun!”

Ian crumpled a little.

“That sounds… good.” Laurel said, noting Ian’s predicament. “But aren’t we being a little rude?”

Alexis paused and followed Laurel’s glance over to where Ian was sitting. “Oh. Sorry what’s your name? We’ll get you now.”

Ian sighed and turned his chair to face his computer. “Uh, sure, okay.”

“Alex!” Laurel said, stopping Alexis as she tried to leave. “That’s not what I meant. We’re planning this girl’s night, but Ian’s right here. What about him?”

“He’s not a girl…” Alexis started, but insight dawned on her before she finished. “Oh, wait. Hey—“She looked to Laurel. “Eden?”

“Ian.”

“Hey, Ian!” Alexis asked, giving him her winning smile. “Want to hang out with us and watch movies on V-day? That is unless you’ve got plans.”

Ian returned the smile. “You know, I don’t think I’ve got a single one. You’re on.”

“Great!” Laurel announced, beaming, “like my grandpa always said, ‘great things always come in threes’.”

End

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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2 Comments

  1. Err, is it meant to be double-posted?

    M

  2. No, I just made a dumb mistake when editing.

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