Issue #14: Standing With Titans

This entry is part 2 of 15 in the series The Descendants Vol 2: Magic and Machines

Part 2

New York’s meta-enforcement division holding facility was situated on part of the former site of the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. It was one of the rare places within city limits that were relatively far away from the majority of civilians. Few civilians dared even approach the security gates because it was a well known fact that the MED facility was the place where psionic and other extraordinary criminals captured by the NYPD’s meta-enforcement division awaited trial and possible extradition to Braddock Island prison.

Like any jail, however, the guards weren’t surprised to see the occasional family members, reporters and lawyers showing up. It was, however, highly irregular for an entire squad of people to arrive decked out in the unmistakable costumes of prelates.

Lou Tolensky, the on duty guard in the public reception area, did a double take at the quartet coming through the armored glass doors. The gate guards had told him four were coming through – they had said nothing about visored eyes, full body metal armor, gold feathered wings or karate gis.

Prelates. He sneered a little as he put down his sports magazine and triggered the mechanism that closed the helmet on his powered armor. It wasn’t that he had anything against psionics in general – he wasn’t a racist or species-ist or whatever it was called when someone hated psionics – he just didn’t like the ones that tried to do his job. He chafed against the city’s ordinances allowing the vigilante activity of anyone capable and willing to take on rogue psionics and other so called meta-criminals.

The armor let out a hum as he stood. In it, he was well over seven feet tall, ensconced in silver and blue with the seal of the NYPD emblazoned on his chest. The armor’s torso was sleek, mimicking a well muscled set of pecs and abs. The arms and legs were chunky and rounded with orange glowing vents for the heat sinks. Most striking was the head; a pronounced dome set between the shoulders with a pair of blue glowing optic sensors and the facsimile of a mouth housing a speaker.

“How can I help you, citizens?” Lou’s voice was distorted into a deeper, more authoritative one by the MED issued speakers.

“Yeah,” the apparent leader of the group, a man in a black body suit adorned with red stripes said. He smiled, though his eyes were covered by a visor. “We’re the Descendants – you may have heard of us? We were in that big fight that led to all the congressional hearings about the Academy? I’m Chaos.” He was trying to be friendly, but the cold, soulless gaze of Lou’s armor’s gaze drove the life out of that approach. “Anyway, we’re here to bail out a kid you brought in last night.”

“You’re going to have to be more specific, sir.” Lou replied.

Chaos was quiet for a second. “How many people can you possibly bring in each night?”

“MED processes approximately twenty-nine meta-crimes per week.” Lou said from memory. He took pride in that figure. Most cities were barely aware of the illegal activities committed by psionics and similarly bizarre criminals. New York was ahead of the curve in dealing with meta-crime.

“That’s a hell of a lot of psionics to push the number even that high.” Chaos whistled appreciatively.

“Well, this is the most populous city on Earth.” Said the one wearing metal armor. A pair of… things… were extended from his arms and were slithering around on the floor, occasionally inspecting a loose bit of detritus.

“And meta-crime isn’t just psionics.” The female was covered in a solid gold body stocking that even covered her hair and hands. Two feathered wings of the same color sprouted from her back. “There’s illegal cybernetic mods, powered armors, splice-freaks… the list goes on.”

“You two read too many comic books.” Chaos admonished them. “Splice-freaks don’t exist in real life.” Lou was about to correct him, but he was too quick. “Anyway, we’re looking for a kid that answers to the name Incubus. He shifts into a big horn headed affair with wings and claws. He got picked up with a little girl – probably thirteen, answers to Rain.”

Lou switched off his speaker and used voice commands to bring up the records from the night before. Sure enough, there was a Type I metamorph brought in with a young girl the night before. He switched the speakers back on. “And why are you looking for him?” He asked. Ordinances said he had to assist prelates in the apprehension of suspects, but they were yet to provide evidence that they were in the process of apprehending diddly squat.

“Friend of the family.” Chaos said, his voice hinting that he was getting tired of the game. “We’re baling him out so he and his little sis can spend Jesus’s birthday at home instead of the super powered drunk tank.”

There was a chime in Lou’s ear. “Got another coming through, Tolensky.” The gate guard reported and said nothing more. Lou hoped it was some distraught mother to give him an excuse to push the prelates aside.

“In that case,” He said aloud to Chaos, “I’ll need to see some ID.”

“Yeah, su—huh?” Chaos asked startled.

“Dude, have you not heard of a secret identity?” The gold woman asked, puffing out her feathers.

“We require IDs on all bail bonds.” Lou said truthfully.

“I thought you said New York was friendly to the whole prelate scene, Alloy.” The girl in the gi said dryly, directing the question to the armored figure.

“They are! There’s even a law… Hey, yeah, Officer…” He leaned forward to read the badge attached to the armor’s chest. “…Tolensky, yeah, what about Code 616? Aren’t you supposed to help us without asking for ID?”

“Only in the apprehension of a suspect.” Lou countered. “And you’re just asking to post bail. No crime means no prelate, means no Code 616.”

The doors closed as Alloy prepared his own counter and a voice interrupted him. “For once in his life, Lou’s right.” A smooth voice said with a hint of laughter.

“Oh for Christ’s sake.” Lou groaned. “You’re the last thing I needed today. And what’ve I told you about using my first name in the prison?”

All heads turned toward the speaker. The Whitecoat, his trademark coat opened now to reveal a thick white turtleneck sweater beneath, stood at the doors, a piece of paper dangling between two plastic covered fingers. “Only after I buy you dinner first?” He was clearly smirking under the bandanna that covered his mouth.

He laughed at Lou’s grunt of frustration and sidled up to the desk. He wore heavy climbing boots overlaid with the same white plastic that made up his gauntlets.

“Holy crap…” Alloy murmured.

“Like I was saying,” the Whitecoat said, not really paying attention to anything but Lou’s uncomfortable shifts inside his armor. “You’re right, Officer Tolensky – happy? You don’t have to release any prisoners without proper ID or something like a writ of release from the mayor.” This was punctuated by another exclamation of surprise from Alloy.

He slapped the paper down on the desk before the armored officer. “Well looky here, boys and girls! Release orders for a prisoner with the Joanna Hancock of Sarah Raymond, Mayor of New York City – the wicked witch of the Bronx herself.”

He pushed the paper forward for Lou to see. The officer frowned inside his armor as he read it and his scanners verified the mayor’s seal and signature. “Fine. But how did you get her to sign off on this?”

“Her royal mayorness is big on her anti-kidnapping platform.” Whitecoat said. “Some of the Tong’s thugs kidnapped some kids yesterday and our boy here went after them with a vengeance. You know, until New York’s finest scrap heaps tranq’d him. I’m hoping he’s got some answers that’ll lead me to whoever it is in the Tong that decided to get in on some Lindbergh action.”

“You’re looking for the same person we are.” Chaos spoke up.

“Huh?” the Whitecoat glanced over and did a double take. His eyes were obscured by his Stetson, but it was clear that his gaze was directed past Chaos at Alloy. “Wait a minute… I recognize those weird arm snakes.” his manner changed from smarmy to weary in the space of a few seconds. He folded his arms over his chest and sighed. “I thought it was my none too gentle recommendation that you get some training before playing prelate, DeMarcus.”

“It was, sir.” Alloy ducked his head. “And it’s Damascus – actually it’s Alloy now.”

“Then why’d I see you in Mayfield a couple months back mixing it up with a bunch of super-thugs?” the prelate’s tone was that of a teacher castigating his pupil.

“It wasn’t that simple.” Alloy said in a begging kind of voice. “Those guys were after me. Plus I have had training now, sir. I’m way less blowful than I was back then.”

“Not that I’m not completely riveted by all of this secret origin stuff.” The girl in the gi drawled, “But aren’t we all here to get Incubus out of jail?”

“Heh.” The Whitecoat said, regarding her. “Right you are.” With that, he clapped his hands, which made a surprisingly normal sound despite his hands being encased in plastic. “Tolensky, chop-chop my good man, bring our young friend out here. Mayor’s orders and all that.”

Lou grumbled by began entering the code to summon the guards from the interior to bring Incubus out.

“And don’t forget the girl, Rain.” The gold skinned woman added, remembering the other part of their mission.

“Who?” the Whitecoat asked.

“A member of Incubus’s family.” Chaos explained. “His little sister. The rest of his family are the ones that were kidnapped.”

“Oh…” the Whitecoat suddenly understood the situation a bit better; four kids sticking together to survive – probably runaways. But that didn’t explain why an entire horde of prelates was interested in their well being. “So where do you all fit into this?” he avoided mentioning the possibility that they were runaways in front of Tolensky.

“I’ll explain that after we get out of here.” Chaos intoned. The Whitecoat got the hint and didn’t press.

Fifteen minutes of relative silence later, the heavy steel doors to the interior of the prison opened and Noah was escorted out by two guards dressed in even heavier armor than that Lou was wearing. Rain clung to his side, looking terrified of the iron behemoths.

Noah looked worse for wear, his hair matted down with sweat, his clothing askew. He obviously hadn’t slept the night before as his eyes wear sunken and weary. He visibly shook and was relying partially on Rain’s help to walk.

He inclined his head toward his saviors. In his last communication with Laurel before the kidnapping, the genius had told him to use codenames only if he ever saw them in uniform. “Chaos.” He said shakily. “did you find them?”

“Not yet. We needed to come get you first.”

The young leader of the Kin frowned deeply. “Thanks for getting me out at least. I’m too drained to help, but I’ll do anything I can to help you.” Rain nodded resolutely beside him, though she knew there was very little she could do. ”Actually,” the Whitecoat stepped forward. “I’m the one that got you out.” He extended a hand. “They call me the Whitecoat.” He didn’t seem entirely happy to say the name aloud.

Noah shied back from the handshake, nearly falling over if not for the intervention of one of the guards steadying him with a massive robotic hand. “Why did you get me out?” he asked suspiciously.

The Whitecoat let out a breath. “Hey, I understand completely that you don’t trust me. But your friends got kidnapped by some guys I’m familiar with – er in a ‘kicking their asses’ kind of way, not as in ‘we’re associates’. I came to get you in hopes that you’d point me toward them before something bad happens.”

Noah nodded, but still didn’t shake his hand. “How do I know he’s telling the truth?” he asked Chaos.

The Whitecoat pointed. “DeMarcus there can vouch from me. I was sort of his mentor a few years ago.”

“Alloy.” The golden woman corrected on Alloy’s behalf.

“DeMarcus sounds better.” Whitecoat’s smarmy tone returned.

“I don’t really know him either.” Noah pointed out.

“You know me.” Chaos said, “And I’ll vouch for him too. Anyone this guy, “he jerked his thumb toward Tolensky, “is annoyed by is good people.” He ignored Lou’s snarl and the burst of laughter from the other guards.

“It’s funny.” The Whitecoat said, “half of the MED hates me, but the rest of the NYPD – the guys on street level – couldn’t be happier for my help.” He shrugged, “Thems the breaks, I guess.” He turned back to Noah, “So, Incubus, looks like your friends are supporting me here. Let’s you, me and them head somewhere less cop-y and see if we can’t find your friends, no?”

Noah finally shook his hand. “Come on Rain.” He said to the frightened girl. “It’ll be alright.”

As the whole group headed across the lobby, Noah frowned. “I don’t know if this helps, but I heard them just before they saw me. One said they needed to get them to ‘CD’ as soon as possible. Maybe it’s a nickname, initials?”

Whitecoat chuckled. “Wow, those morons. This is easier than I thought.”

“How’s that?” The girl in the gi asked.

“Because considering the guys I smacked up last night, there’s only one ‘CD’ they could possible be talking about – Canterbury Docks.”

Series Navigation<< Issue #13: Another Kind of HomecomingIssue #15: Never Simple >>

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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One Comment

  1. Rebecca Thompson

    The Kin are back, and we get to meet a new prelate? Awesome.

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