Issue #39: Descendants 2095

This entry is part 4 of 15 in the series The Descendants Vol 4: Confluence

This issue occurs during the events of Descendants #38

Hair: spiked up with styling gel and colored with red hair paint. Outfit: a brown leather bomber jacket with a white fur ruff around the collar, army green tank top camouflage fatigues, and highly shined army boots. Extras: dog tags, black aviator goggles and a reasonable replica of a cross between a pulse rifle and a mini-gun.

Warrick Kaine was ready for Halloween. He pulled the goggles down over his eyes and mugged for the mirror. Even after more than a year as Alloy, he still lacked the physique to look anything like the character he was dressed as: Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Stone from Taskforce: Earth. Still, a second opinion was in order.

“How do I look?” He turned form the mirror to see Tink sitting cross legged on his bed in her own costume.

She looks up from her palm-top and made a show of suppressing a giggle. “You look… nothing like him.” She smiled at his expression. “But you’re still handsome. And… well I shouldn’t be talking; there’s no amount of costume in the world that could make me look like PHEOBE.”

She gestured to her own costume, which was composed of a black bodysuit, gloves and a swim cap with circuit patterns drawn over it in a metallic hot pink that caught the light whenever she moved. The same pattern was continued over her face with face paint.

What she said was true. PHOEBE was the holographic representation of the titular starship in the television series Imago and was markedly shorter and more willowy than Tink. She was also translucent when she was in her default, ‘circuitry’ guise, something that literally couldn’t be replicated by modern costume technology. She also didn’t wear glasses.

Not that the accuracy of her Halloween costume mattered much to Warrick. He flashed her a cheesy grin. “Maybe not exactly, but you still look great.”

Tink smiled back. “Thank you. I just took a shot in the dark when we were talking about everyone going as famous characters – all my favorites dress like normal people.”

“Good thing we didn’t say favorite.” Warrick laughed and came to sit on the edge of the bed. “Because mine’s Winter from Malady Place And you do not want to see me in drag.

Shuddering at the image, Tink laughed too. “Besides, you couldn’t be caught wearing the same costume as Kay.” She thought on this, then added, “You know, after watching her boss around everyone in Snackrifice, I can’t really see Kay playing the part of a sidekick—and Winter’s a textbook sidekick.”

Warrick nodded. “Well, it’s not like a play, you don’t have to play the part—thought I think we both know Cyn is going to play Renee to the hilt. She’s been practicing that look she does all week.”

“I noticed.” Tink laughed. “Speaking of plays, I forgot to ask; what’s the word on the Henry V casting?”

“The cast list isn’t being posted until Friday. You didn’t get the Drama department email?”

Tink shrugged. “I think you only get the casting stuff if you tried out for something and I’m plenty happy up on the catwalks with the lights, thank you very much.” She gestured toward the door, indicating the party that would be starting soon. “Ready to go downstairs.”

Warrick nodded and stood, offering a hand unnecessarily to help her up, which she took. “Yup. This should be fun—it was last year.”

***

“Still sulking that Warrick wouldn’t let you invite half the school like you did last year?” Kay asked Cyn as she lounged in one of the arm chairs in the downstairs commons. She wore a black wig that looked strikingly like Juniper’s natural hair save for the color, blue contacts, and Winter Capshaw’s typical wear from Malady Place’s current season; a white fleece coat with a green and navy pinstriped sweater and black, knee length skirt with heavy snow boots.

Cyn was dressed as Renee Faust from the same show; long, purple hair, black sports bra, partially covered by a fishnet shirt and a short-sleeved denim jacket; and a short, wraparound skirt with large pockets sewn in. She was taking the last few moments before guests arrived to make her first pass against the buffet. “I didn’t invite half the school.” She objected.

“Yeah, just half the junior class.” Lisa teased from the couch. She was taking the easy way out for Halloween: a vampress. “Seeing as the place was full by this time back then, I’m guessing we’re not doing a repeat?” From her vantage point, she could see Juniper still fussing with her neon green painted hair in the hall mirror while nearby, JC in his usual Halloween ninja costume, was pacing while talking on his cell phone.

“Nah.” Cyn examined a type of cracker she wasn’t familiar with. “Laurel said to keep the numbers down because she wants to make sure no one’s drinking tonight.”

“Kaine should still have a drink sometime though.” Kay said, “You don’t turn legal every day.”

“I think JC’s taking him out this weekend to fix that.” said Lisa. “He asked me to ask who else in our group is eighteen and if they wanted to go with.”

“Not me, not ‘til January.” Kay said. “Cyn, December, right?”

“Right.” Cyn sampled the cracker and immediately scooped a whole handful onto her paper plate.

Kay nodded. “How about you, Jun? Eighteen yet?”

“Hmm?” Juniper turned from her preening, which had the in intentional effect of causing her costume to billow and sweep dramatically. In a fit of irony that Cyn couldn’t stop snickering over, Juniper had elected to go to the Halloween party as the villainous Ice Queen from the animated series Elementalist Powers Bravo!. The costume consisted of a flowing gown of white and ice blue and a faux ermine stole with an uncharacteristically vicious looking pair of ermine heads on the shoulders. The green hair had never been explained in the show.

“Are you eighteen?” Kay repeated. “And if so, do you want to go out drinking with Warrick and JC this weekend?”

Juniper shook her head. “No, sorry. I probably shouldn’t drink even when I am though…” A far away look temporarily came over her, but she quickly snapped out of it. “But Kareem is though. You should ask him when he gets back from picking up Desiree and Terry with Melissa.”

“Okay, so us, plus Terry and Desiree.” Kay counted off. “Jun’s preening says Adel’s in… who else did you invite, Cyn?”

Cyn took a moment to swallow the mouthful of crackers she’d been working on. “Let’s see… Jonas, Rich von Stoker, Warrick’s sister (it is his birthday party too after all, some of his family should be here), Callie Krieger, Connie (she was really cool at her party), and that guy we met the other day in the park, Ollie.” She gave a lecherous grin at this last one.

“College guy.” Kay observed. “You aim high.”

Still grinning, Cyn flipped her purple hair and gestured at herself with her non-plate-holding hand. “Why shouldn’t I?”

“Isn’t Callie one of Lilly’s friends?” Juniper ventured. “I thought you hated them.”

It took a lot of effort on Cyn’s part not to glare at her. Juniper should have known better than anyone after the whole Abscondro incident that Callie wasn’t as bad as her horrible judgment of character when choosing acquaintances implied. She just needed to get away from Lilly.

Instead of glaring, she shrugged. “Seems to me that she’s not as bad at the others. Lilly makes fun of her almost as much as the people she hates.”

Kay started to say something, but a beaming JC stepped out of the back hall. He had his ninja mask off, apparently just so they could see how enthused he was. “Sorry about that, ladies, just had to give instructions to my present as to how to get here.”

A suspicious expression crossed Kay’s eyes. “Your present? It needs directions on how to get here.”

JC continued to exude pride in himself.

“I swear to god, if you ordered him a stripper…” Kay shook her head. Lisa broke down, shaking with laughter.

“What? No!” JC gibbered, trying to find an even keel. “I mean I thought about it, but Most of the people here are girls and his girlfriend’s here and my girlfriend’s here… awkwardness.” He tapped on the screen of his phone a bit. “But, I did manage to get him a visit from a very special lady.”

“This is sounding worse and worse.” Cyn said.

“Why?” Juniper asked.

“I’ll tell you when you’re older, kid.” Cyn smirked. Lisa laughed even harder, almost losing her vampire fangs in the process.

“You have dirty, dirty minds.” JC gave them a disapproving look. He caught Cyn’s eye and tossed her his phone. “Here, check it out for yourself.”

Cyn caught the phone with ease and set her plate aside to take a better look at it. JC had called up a web advertisement. “’Madame Myss-tery.’” She read out loud. “Wow, spelling isn’t her strong suit.”

“Read the rest please.” JC rolled his eyes.

“Heh, fine.” Cyn continued, “’A genuine psionic gifted with the power to give you a vision of a possible future. Learn love, fortune and destiny in a private session at her storefront or in your own home. Available for parties, family reunions and as an icebreaker for business retreats.’” She arched an eyebrow. “You hired a magician for your best friend’s eighteenth birthday party?”

“She’s not a magician.” JC defended. “She’s like a psychic. I thought it would be pretty cool.”

“What would be pretty cool?” Warrick asked. He appeared at the top of the stairs with Tink beside him.

JC shot Cyn and his still chortling girlfriend a smug look. “The man of the hour! You can solve this for us. Cool or not: a psychic at your party?”

Warrick’s smile grew two times its original size. “Dude, cool!” JC folded his arms and nodded to the girls. A sudden shiver of doubt wormed its way into Warrick’s mind. “Uh… what kind of psychic are we talking here?” He hoped, for the sake of his future as Alloy and for the rest of the Descendants that it wasn’t… “A mind reader?”

“Nope.” JC and the others didn’t notice the tension leave Warrick’s body. “She’s kind of a fortuneteller.”

“If you ask me, that sounds like a lot of fun.” Juniper said.

“I don’t really buy any of it, but yeah, it does sound fun.” Tink agreed. “The future is always fun to think about.”

“Looks like you won everyone over, sweetie.” Lisa finally got a hold of herself. “I’m pretty curious myself—can’t wait until she gets here.”

***

Less than an hour later, the party was in full swing. Kareem, with Desiree practically wrapped around his arm, was good naturedly debating movies with Terry, Melissa, Callie and Jonas; Tink, Tammy and Kay had fired up the GameServer on the big screen and were battling one another in a singing idol game (Kay was winning handily); Warrick, JC and Rich had somehow managed to drag Lisa into an animated argument about which of their current favorite shows was the best; and Juniper continued trying to pry some conversation out of Adel.

For her part, Cyn had managed to maneuver Ollie out of the movie debates and over to the snack table. “So have you picked a major yet?”

Ollie shook his head, unintentionally showing off his long hair, much to Cyn’s delight. He was dressed to the nines as Cole Bremen, the main character of he spy series, Break-In. “Nope. But I’ve got time; I’m not even through the first semester yet.”

“But you’ve got an idea right?” Cyn leaned against the table in what she hoped was a seductive manner. “Everyone tells me I should go into biology, but in all honesty, I’m thinking of something in law—either practicing or enforcement. Arguing and seeing bad guys get what they deserve are some of my favorite things.”

That got a laugh out of him. “I really don’t. I mean, I like computers, but I don’t like math enough for computer science and I like music, but hell, I couldn’t even make a high school band.”

“Oh, you weren’t bad.” Cyn said, trying to remember his audition, “It’s just that well… I shouldn’t say this, but Jun’s their lead vocal and she liked Adel and…” There was a knock at the door. “Oops, that’s my cue, back in a second.”

She continued smiling back at him until she finally reached the door. Standing there was a Korean woman in her late twenties, dressed as a textbook stereotype of a gypsy fortuneteller. Cyn couldn’t help but to snicker.

Not missing a beat, the ‘gypsy’ dropped a practiced courtesy. “Greeting to you on this, All Hallow’s Eve. I am Madame Myss-tery.” She put a hiss into the last word. “And I have been summoned to this place to bring tidings from the future to Warrick Kaine.”

Cyn nearly cracked up, stepping back to let the woman in. “Hi, future lady.” She grinned. Everyone had stopped to watch the exchange and JC was already herding Warrick to the center couch. “Warrick’s over there, but I wanted to ask; will flying cars finally become affordable in the future?”

Madame Myss-tery didn’t seem to take offense to this and stayed completely in character. “You might ask that of one of my clients; my power does not work on myself.” She gave Warrick a warm smile as she walked over. “I must warn you, Mr. Kaine, that the mental illusion I create is extremely vivid—but rest assured that what you see is one of many possible futures. There is much you can do to avert or ensure it.”

Warrick returned her smile, glancing self consciously at the other guests that now had their attention on him. “Still… I’d kind of like it to be good.”

“We shall see. Once you receive the vision, you can tell us all what it showed you.” She pressed her hands to his temples and hummed softly.

Suddenly, Warrick felt very drowsy.

***

Warrick Kaine woke up in his own bed and glanced at the clock. Six forty-nine. Good. He still had a good ten minutes of sleep coming to him. Satisfied with this, he burrowed back under the covers, seeking warmth.

The sound of running feet came down the hall. He tried to will them toward another room. No such luck; the door swung open with enough force to send a breeze through the room. Immediately the feet came to the side of the bed and a hand shook his shoulder.

Someone shook his shoulder. “Come on, wake up.” A girl’s voice said impatiently. Of course. Everyone in the house seemed to sense the moment he woke up. With a heavy groan, he turned over and peeked out.

The girl standing there was in her early teens and had just gone through a growth spurt that left her tall, thin and gawky. Stringy, black hair was constantly falling into her big, brown eyes and obscured her freckled face.

“Mhmm?” Warrick sat up and bed and rubbed his face, taking time to scratch his full, black beard.

The girl folded her arms and gave his sleepiness a petulant look. “Better get a move on, Dad. Mom says she’s got to get to a call at the lab, so you have to drive me and the doppelgangers to school.”

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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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