Issue #72: Turmoil Returns

This entry is part 15 of 16 in the series The Descendants Vol 6: Returns and Departures

(Part 6)
Chaos lifted his chin to keep his Adam’s apple clear of the blade at his throat. There was a chance that Slicer might have to saw a bit to get through the ballistic cloth, but then again, her blade might part it was easily as his flesh, so he decided not to risk it just yet.
“Hey bro!” He called to keep Issac from shouting his real name in panic at his situation. “Good bluff. Bad timing, seeing as I almost had this lady talked down, but good bluff nonetheless.”
Turmoil released the pressure inside his nova slowly, allowing the heat to simply boil the water away. “You alright over there, Chaos?”
“Just peachy.” Chaos said, his eyes traveling to Gundown. From where he stood, it was clear the man was going for one of his pistols. “Me and Slicer here are just getting a bit closer is all. Maybe you and Gundown can commune too.”
Slicer stiffened at his back. “What are you doing?”
“What? I thought we were on good terms before.” said Chaos, trying to keep his own breathing steady despite the blade at his throat.”
There was a wet sound behind him, probably her licking her lips. “You’re messing with me. Or talking in code. Stop it.”
In Chaos’s visor, a text window suddenly opened on his HUD. ‘I’m here.’ It read, ‘Invisible.’.
Alexis. Darkness.
Laurel had just fitted her with her own pair of multi-filter goggles for her costume. The infrared setting could be used to allow her to see after a fashion while invisible. This would be the first time she got to try them out in the field.
It took an effort of will not to let himself smile. His heroine had arrived.
“Come on, Slicer. Do you really want to do this after all we talked about?”
“Wouldn’t you if someone was threatening to explode your brother?”
Chaos sighed. “That’s exactly the point, isn’t it? Your brother came here to shoot me, remember? Turmoil was just doing exactly what you’re doing now: protecting family. And the best way for you to protect yours right now is to give yourself up and go to jail quietly.”
For a moment, Slicer was quiet. Then: “Just me. Let him go and you can take me in.”
Across from them, Gundown closed his hand over the pistol’s grip.
“Sorry, that’s not how it works, Slice.” Chaos triggered his water reservoir to fill his palm. “Now it’s not up to you. Now!”
Immediately, a beam of black heat about as thick as his thumb seared past, uncomfortably close to his jaw on its way to impact Slicer’s katana. The metal shattered, bouncing off Chaos’s jugular and making him think for just a split second that Slicer had cut him anyway.
In the next moment, he threw and elbow back, through his cape and into Slicer’s reinforced ribs. It didn’t do much damage, but it knocked her back enough that he could get wind into his cape enough to launch himself skyward.
A Chaos Nova blazed into being in his hand and he lobbed it at Gundown as he drew his weapon on Turmoil.
Gundown caught the motion out of the corner of his eye and turned to focus on the incoming projectile. The white aura of his power encased the glowing sphere and halted it in place before sending it right back at Chaos.
A motion from Chaos released the pressure inside the nova early, causing it to detonate early, harmlessly charring the asphalt. “What the hell was that?” He asked.
“Telekinetic.” Turmoil explained.
“Then why bother with the guns?”
“I’ve been asking that question this whole fight!” Turmoil complained.
Meanwhile, Slicer had stumbled back from Chaos’s elbow blow, catching sight of Darkness dropping her black heat induced cloak of invisibility. Cursing under her breath, she raised her pistol and fired only to watch the PSM bolts being swallowed up by rolling clouds of black heat.
“Chaos was right.” Darkness said in a low, threatening voice, “It’s best for you to give up before you seriously get hurt.”
Slicer tossed the gun, now proven to be useless against superpowers, aside and adopted a fighting stance. “In case you haven’t heard: I’ve already been ‘seriously hurt’. A criminal you let get off on bail dragged me a couple of blocks in my car—that’s how I got like this.”
“We don’t control who makes and doesn’t make bail.” Darkness pointed out.
“So everyone keeps telling me.” Slicer huffed out her frustration before launching herself at Darkness. She didn’t get far before a beam of black heat struck her in the center and flung her out into the middle of the street where she rolled until she was within a few yards of her brother.
Darkness flew up to join the two brothers. “You two are outnumbered and out-gunned. Whatever you thought you were going to accomplish, it’s not happening. If you plan to keep fighting now, you’re going to have a problem.”
White power glazed over Gundown’s eyes and he rose into a standing position. “This isn’t over! It’s not going to be over until someone’s dead for what happened to my sister. You say I got a problem? Well I got a solution:” His white power signature overshadowed the second pistol at his hip and also rimed the partially broken rifle on his back as well as two other smaller arms the others hadn’t seen earlier thanks to his bulk. The four weapons were unholstered by his power and came to hover around him, pointed at his trinity of foes.
“More guns!” He bellowed, using his powers to aim and fire in a devastating volley. PSM bursts, bullets and waves of force leapt out in a mad explosion of violence, scattering the three heroes before it.
The two brothers flew out to the sides while Darkness opted to go straight up before returning fire in the form of a concentrated beam of black heat. The attack blasted the raging man back, but didn’t shake the concentration that kept up his fusillade.
“I’ve have just about enough of this nonsense.” Chaos announced, looping up and above Gundown. “I don’t like doing this, considering the damage it can cause, but there doesn’t seem to be any other way to put you down, big man.”
Extending a hand, he commanded the air around Gundown’s head to rapidly lose density while at the same time causing a high pressure sphere to form just outside that zone. The effect was immediate as Gundown gasped in the thinner air and looked around to find the source.
“You bastard!” He shouted when he finally spotted Chaos, wasting precious air. He tried to direct his weapons upward, but his vision and his mind were already starting to go fuzzy around the edges. The glow surrounding the rifle guttered out and the weapon clattered to the ground while the other guns began to waiver.
Unable to keep a hold on his telekinesis, Gundown sank to his knees and tried to raise the gun in his hand. Its was futile. With one more grunt of frustration, he came crashing down on the street, unconscious.
Fifteen minutes later, the MPD was on the scene and taking charge of the scene. A paramedic was fitting an oxygen line laced with mild anesthetic over Gundown’s face to keep him down until specialist could be called in to fit him with something to render him unable to use his powers to harm anyone.
Meanwhile Slicer had surrendered and was submitting to a police technician hooking up a tablet to the processor that controlled her arms, placing limitations in the software to prevent her from accessing superior strength.
“You really need to stop getting held hostage.” Darkness teased Chaos as he looked on.
“This happens often?” asked Turmoil, who was standing with them, arms crossed as he watched Gundown for any sign that the man might wake up and start something again.”
Chaos waved it off. “Only two times before. And one involved ninjas—you can’t blame someone for being kidnapped by ninjas.”
“So… you’ve been held hostage three times? Maybe I need to move to Mayfield to protect you, little brother.”
Darkness laughed and threaded her arm through Chaos’s. Beyond the police lines, reporters and gawkers took the obvious photo op and soon the internet was filled with speculation and the joyous squeeing of thousands of Prelates of Mayfield shippers. “Don’t worry yourself,” She informed Turmoil, “I have to protecting well in hand.”
“You’ve needed saving before too, ya know?” Chaos laughed, using their entwined arms to pull her a bit closer.
She smiled, thought it was hidden by her screen of black heat. “Yes, but Turmoil was talking about you.”
“I could talk about that.” offered Turmoil.
“Oh my, look at the time.” said Darkness, miming looking at a watch. “I have to get back to work.”
“Coward.” Chaos teased back.
She shrugged and disengaged from him. “Oh very much so. Have fun with the police statements, boys.” With that,s he lifted off, pulling her goggles down over her eyes as she did. Once she was about two stories up, she faded from sight, masking the direction she was headed.
“Hell of a lady.” Turmoil observed.
“You don’t know the half of it.” replied Chaos. “It makes doing this kind of thing much less mind-bending when you’ve got a guardian angel on your side.” He laughed lightly, looking up at the sky where she vanished.
Turmoil looked toward the press and general gawkers. “So is there going to be fallout? You know, from us admitting we’re brothers under the mask?”
“I doubt it.” Chaos watched as the police tech finished up with Slicer. “I mean they might have guessed from the similar powers and costumes anyway. This just makes it more clear. I bet you’ll get a cameo in the comic out of this.”
“Hmm…” Turmoil stroked his chin, and amused look on his face. “Any chance I can get likeness rights without revealing my secret Identity?”
That earned him a slug in the shoulder. “Jackass.” Chaos laughed. “That money goes to our fund for helping all the people whose property takes collateral damage in throw-downs like this. The Gym, for example?”
Turmoil’s gaze went to the gym entrance, which had been smashed and shot up but good in the altercation. “How much do you think replacing the windows and doors costs?”
“Quite a bit less than the two cars Gundown smashed.” Chaos pointed out.
He regarded the cars. They were crushed and twisted beyond recognition, not to mention covered with chemical foam to render anything toxic that might leak out inert. “You know, I do have that big payout from my last case…”
“I thought you already gave to charity.”
“A bigger payout means I need a bigger tax break.” Turmoil pointed out.
Chaos was about to reply when across from them, Slicer looked up, catching his eye. “Ah jeez. Looks like Slicer wants a word with me. What do you want to bet it’s to spit in my face?”
“You know you don’t actually have to go over there.” said Turmoil. “Maybe I’m not versed in this whole super-world you’re part of yet, but I’m pretty sure that she’s the bad guy, you’re the good guy, and you don’t have to pretend to be her old chum.”
For a moment, Chaos just continued to stare at the woman. Then he sighed. “Except I did get through to her… you know, just before she put a knife to my throat. If I can reinforce what I said, maybe she won’t come back in a couple of years, out on parole and ready to run me or some other person just trying to do good with their powers through.”
“Then I’ll just say good luck. Aaand remind you that our powers work on spit too.”
Chaos laughed. “Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.”
He considered flying over, but walked instead. By the time he reached Slicer, a female officer was leading her to a patrol car. “A minute, officer?”
The officer, who was someone he didn’t recognize, considered a moment. “Just a minute. And I’m staying here. I don’t trust those software jobs when it comes to spark jockeys.”
Slicer didn’t correct the derogatory term, so Chaos ignored it too. “Right. I’m pretty sure nothing that’s about to be said needs to be private.” He turned to Slicer. “You had something to say to me?”
For a brief moment, the woman shot him a hard look, then her expression melted into something unreadable. She looked down, studying the pavement. “I wanted to ask you what you’d do if we made bail.”
“Considering that you’re up to fighting form with new prosthetic in less than eight months from what I presume was not a life of ass-kicking, and that your brother was loaded down with illegal arms? It’s a possibility that you could pay. But, considering the violent nature of your crimes, I wouldn’t put money on bail being an option.”
She looked up at him with defiance in her eyes. “And if it is?”
He sighed and looked skyward once more. “If it is, I’d first hope that you’ll consider what I told you and reconsider you opinion on crime and revenge. And if not… well I’ll be here and I’ll be doing my damnedest to protect everyone from you.”
When she didn’t answer, he pressed, “You remember the girl that led me and Turmoil in? The gym owner’s daughter?” Slicer nodded, shifting uncomfortably as if she knew where this was going. “Yeah, she was standing behind me when big bro shot at me the first time. A bullet of the caliber would’ve gone right through me. Her uncle doesn’t have the cash to buy her new illegal, super-strong arms. Keep that in mind.”
Slicer blanched and chewed her lip.
“Are we done?” the officer asked, not looking very comfortable with the discussion herself.
“Just… just a second.” said Slicer, the defiance finally out of her voice. She looked Chaos in the eye. There was still fury there, still pain and a desire for vengeance. But it was muted and veiled in melancholy. “Don’t let it happen to anyone else.” She finally asked, “Don’t let anyone else end up like me.”
Chaos bowed his head, unable to meet her gaze. “I’ll do everything in my power—my team will do everything in their power—to make sure of it.”
Slicer only nodded and allowed the officer to lead her away. Chaos remained standing there for a long moment before taking a deep breath and turning to walk back to where his brother was waiting.
End Issue #72
Series Navigation<< CynQuest: Yellow FalloutDescendants Annual #6 >>

About Vaal

Landon Porter is the author of The Descendants and Rune Breaker. Follow him on Twitter @ParadoxOmni or sign up for his newsletter. You can also purchase his books from all major platforms from the bookstore
Bookmark the permalink.