Issue #92 – Homage

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series The Descendants Vol 8: The Weaver's Web

Homage (Part 5)

“Hahahaha!” Gun Nut gesticulated wildly as it watched Juniper tumble across the ground, smoke rising from the scorch marks on her suit. “You Sentinels should know better’n ta bring fist to a gun fight, lil’ lady!” it taunted.

Juniper managed to rolls to her knees and lever herself up with a fist to the ground. As she shook her head to clear it, she got a look of her friends fighting off the Feathered Fiends as they tried to gang up on them.

“You know what?” she asked, almost too quietly for Gun Nut to hear, “You’re right.” Sucking in a long breath of recycled air from inside her helmet, she shouted, “Everyone, it’s time for the Arsenal!”

“Right!” The other chorused.

Once again, it was Warrick who started off the sequence. Ducking under the punch of a Feathered Fiend, he caught its arm and pulled, throwing it over his hip and into the second, which was coming at him from the side. With his attacked clear for a moment, he raised his hands. “Super Arsenal, power up! Super Hammer!”

A flash of white light appeared between his hands and expanded into the form of a hammer styled to resembled the foot of an enormous rhinoceros. The moment it was fully formed, he swung it down, striking the ground and releasing a wave of force that bowled over both Feathered Fiends.

Being the sole member of the team who wasn’t an expert (or even more than a novice) in any martial arts, Callie had only one skill at hand to combat the low level troops of the Hermetic Empire: she was few fast on her feet. As three Fiends closed around her to pummel her, she ducked and dodged, weaving her away past punches kicks and slams while barely letting a feather touch her.

When the call for the Arsenal went out though, she reversed her course, putting herself directly in the middle of the three while shouting, “Super Spear!” A bolt of yellow light extended from her hands, becoming a six-foot spear with a long, narrow head that broadened at the end in the same manner of her signature beast. Even as the spear formed, she thrust the blade into one Fiend, then drew it back to slam another with the butt before finally flourishing the spear in a spin that hit the last monster a half dozen times. In seconds, the trio lay at her feet.

“Super Ax!” Ray had been handily battling the Fiends before, but when a blue ax with a double-crescent blade with a sharp edge but blunt tips mirroring the horns of a brontotherium appeared in his hands, the slim chance they had to defeat him disappeared.

Josh, whose training usually required a sword, still danced among the Feathered Fiends with fluid grace, delivering strikes when the opportunity arose. “Super Blade!”

Jagged black energy erupted from his hand, becoming a sword that was serrated on both sides. The same grace he’d used earlier became a whirlwind of destruction as he took down the monsters attacking him in turn.

“Super Slashers!” Juniper called, forcing herself to her feet. Red light filled her fists and became a pair of red metal daggers in the shapes of terror bird feathers.

“What do you think you’re gonna do with those, kid?” Gun Nut scoffed, “Butter bread? Ain’t no one told you never ta’ bring a knife to a gun fight?”

Juniper smiled even though her helmet hid it. “Not a gun, but close. Super Sentinels, bring ’em together!” With that, she leapt back into formation with her friends.

“I don’t like the sound of that,” said Gun Nut, “Let’s say… naw.” He opened fire with his revolver arm, peppering the Sentinels with explosions that sent them flying apart, their attempt to combine weapons interrupted.

Callie groaned and got up on her hands and knees. “That’s a first. The monsters usually just stare at use like idiots while we do that.”

Gun Nut cackled again. “Aw, now you know t’ain’t nice ta’ speak ill o’ the destroyed. ‘Specially since I’m gonna send ya’ll ta join ’em.”

“Is his accent getting more thick every time he speaks?” asked Josh. Whatever answers he might have gotten was interrupted by the sound of a loud Spanish guitar flourish that somehow managed to cut through the din of the battle.

“Whut?” Gun Nut turned toward the sound only to be met with a half dozen rapid fire slashes that erupted into fiery explosions all across his body. He was thrown back and forced to roll into a crouching position by the force as a golden blur sprang away from him.

Said blur resolved into yet another spandex-clad warrior, only this one was markedly different from the other Super Sentinels. For one, the golden spandex-esque armor was supplemented by an ornate, yet slim black-on-gold breastplate with the image of a dragon stamped on the center. The biker-style helmet was molded to look like the mouth of a dragon, but was also topped by a flat-brimmed hat the evoked Zorro. In their hands, the new Sentinel cradled an acoustic guitar plated with gold with a pair of crescent blades that turned the guitar into a literal ax.

“The Lone Gold Sentinel.” Juniper whispered in a reverent tone. “I wonder what convinced him to come help us this time?”

Ray was the first completely on his feet. “No idea, but I’m glad he’s here.”

Turning so the neck of the guitar was pointed at Gun Nut, the Lone Gold Sentinel raised their strumming arm in a classic rocker pose before simultaneously bringing that hand down across the strings and dropping into a crouch.

A riot of yellow light exploded from the guitar, spiraling in some places, lancing out directly in others, all vectors closing on the Gun Nut.

“Now look here, how’re you even supposed ta rock with an acoustic gee-tar?” was all he got out before the light converged on him, ending his one-monster rally for the Second Amendment in a series of explosions and yellow smoke.

Surveying their handiwork, the Lone Gold Sentinel rose and gave a flourishing gesture to the other Sentinels, indicating that Pawn Scum was all theirs.

Pawn Scum let out an annoyed sound. “You think it’ll be so easy? I’ve got more friends than that!” He pulled a toaster out of his body and went to toss it down.

“But not enough time!” Warrick crowed. Having taken a page out of Gun Nut’s playbook, the Sentinels had assembled a ballista from their weapons: the hammer and ax (with it’s blades re-oriented into a different angle) forming the body and the spear, blade and daggers forming a bolt complete with a brutal head and dagger-formed fletching.

Before the words were out of Warrick’s mouth, the Sentinels were focusing their powers into the weapon, the feedback in the transmetamorphic field causing an explosion of colored smoke behind them at the same moment the ballista bolt glowed and launched itself like a railgun round.


Very, very far away; in a grand castle on the moon; a figure in gaudy armor that looked to have been inspired by a Ren Faire—and not the knights, the peasant woman dresses—complete with a white ruff, surveyed the situation at Seraph Copse through a telescope.

Part of him lamented the imprecision of his conjured realities. He’d imagined that he’d have been in a badass body of exposed muscle with a metal exoskeleton and an intimidating visor. Maybe a staff with an ‘H’ on top.

But such was life. At least he didn’t have a headache yet.

That might change soon though, as his Pawn Scum monster looked like it was in danger.

“Not done yet though,” he muttered. Then he held out his arm and loudly demanded, “Arucard, to me!” With a flutter of wings and sable feathers, a huge, black bird lit on his arm. It looked at him and let loose an expectant caw.

Hermes (because of course it was Hermes) raised his bird-bearing arm. “You know what to do: make my monster grow!”

Arucard made a croaking sound and extended his wings, which burst into black and yellow fire. Flapping his incendiary wings once, the great bird took off from his master’s arm and headed for Earth, flying through the void as easily as open sky.


Back in Seraph Copse, the ballista bolt pierced Pawn Scum through, leaving a hole in its torso the size of a volley ball that glowed an angry orange. The monster stumbled backward, struggling impressively to remain standing.

His efforts were rewarded when a bird made of black and gold light came screaming down from on high and plunged into his rapidly-failing body. The ground shook as power from the Bird of Hermes infused Pawn Scum, causing his form to contort and expand, growing to fifty feet tall.

The Sentinels staggered back, fighting against the trembling ground to keep their feet. Juniper stared up at the towering monster and knew exactly what was required of her and her team. Hitting the switch on her belt that connected her to Anansi, she declared, “We need the Ancient Beast Mechs and the Superior Mech, now!”

If anything, the ground shook even worse as five gigantic robots, each in the shape of the Sentinels’ signature beasts stormed onto the waterfront. Even as they arrived, they began to transform.

First was Warrick’s Indricothere Mech, whose hip joints reconfigured and legs bent until it was standing on its hind legs. Its barrel-shaped body extended, adding to its height while its long neck retracted into the body as the whole structure lifted off into the air.

Next, Ray’s Brontotherium Mech charged into the space beneath it. With surprising care and speed, it lowered itself until its belly and chin were on the ground, then its legs folded into its body, it’s tail flipped up over its back, revealing twin cavities beneath it, and then the entire body rose with the machine’s neck forming a hinge. Finally, the body split into two, resembling a pair of boots that the Indricothere Mech’s legs lowered into. Steam jetted from the joints as the connection was made.

The Andrewsarchus Mech leapt into the air and split in half, it’s legs folding in while articulated fingers emerged from compartments in its throat. Both halves, not clearly robotic arms, connected to the shorter arms of the transformed Indricothere Mech, which performed a couple of chops, punches and kicks with its new limbs.

Behind them, the Terror Bird and Ornithocheirus Mechs approached, the latter flying above the former. the Ornithocheirus Mech’s neck and torso flipped up, leaving an open cavity between its wings that the Terror Bird Mech leapt up into. More steam billowed as the combined and the Terror Bird Mech transformed.

Its long legs extended straight down while its neck curled back, exposing the chest, which split open to reveal a sculpted face that resembled a human with a mask covering the bottom half of their face.

The now-assembled head rose into the air and then settled down into the cavity vacated by the retracted head and neck of the Indricothere Mech, the Terror Bird Mech’s legs slotting into place with another burst of steam. The Ornithocheirus Mech’s wings tilted and extended, forming an impressive headdress for the giant robot, whose eyes lit up upon final integration of its component parts.

All five of the Super Sentinels were swept up in a teleportation beam and sent into the now-complete Superior Mech’s bridge. As another overload in the transmetamorphic field release one more gargantuan explosion behind the Superior Mech, it struck a powerful pose.

Juniper, standing at the center of the bridge, mimicked the pose and then directed the Superior Mech to point at Pawn Scum. “Now guys, let’s scrub this Pawn Scum!”


Back in his moon palace, Hermes grit his teeth. “I honestly forgot how… punny these shows are. No matter, I think I know how to win this. I’ll just make Pawn Scum grow again! I wonder why the originals never thought of this! Arucard!”

Instead of a caw like he expected, Hermes’s demand was answered with what sounded like a muffled sonic boom. The whole palace vibrated as blue light briefly flooded the room.

Hermes raised an eyebrow. “Hmm? That sounded almost like… oh no..”

“Oh yes.” stated JC triumphantly. Behind him, a portal of brilliantly-glowing concentric rings disgorged the last of Lisa, Shade’s Apprentice, Teen Machine and Lady D, all still in their reality-warped costumes.

“Check out what I found in the pockets of my costume.” JC brandished a device that was a little bit larger than a palmtop computer with a face made up of glowing circuitry. Its made a ‘ping’ sound as it was presented. “It detects cosmic entities, it opens teleportation portals, and it plays music… weird alien music, but… yeah, anyway I’m keeping it after we kick your ass. And by that…”

He manipulated the box and with the noise of a few more sonic booms, more ring-portals appeared, “… I mean all of us—even the people you didn’t invite to play with you yet.”

Hermes goggled at them for a moment. Suddenly his little super anthology was turning out to instead be a story with a converging branches structure. “Ooo, I think I’m getting a headache.”

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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. You can also purchase his books from all major platforms from the bookstore
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  1. Hermes is a villain who’s going to show them, show them all?


    his skull, there
    his skull. There (not absolutely necessary but I think there should be a sentence break there.)

    He worse a faded
    He wore a faded

    such prefect, feline
    such perfect, feline

    He’d just blow
    He’d just blown

    made hi way
    made his way

    given we have company on the way.”
    given we had company on the way.” (I think the company referred to is the Descendants, who are in town? Hence past tense.)

    Little Shop The Wasn’t
    Little Shop That Wasn’t

    Worse case though
    Worst case though

    Calvary comes running.”
    cavalry comes running.”

    coming wit us?”
    coming with us?”

    “I also bought
    “I also brought

    scoff Hermes.
    scoffed Hermes.

  2. I am in full and complete support of Hermes’ blatent disregard for the 4th wall.

    Can it be next monday already? 😛

  3. JC said “bigger, brighter, better. ”
    Hermes is a God – bigger than other opponents
    He made it glow – brighter
    This adventure will be – better

    JC is a prophet!

  4. “We don’t check in every ten minutes and the Calvary comes running.”
    Cavalry. Calvary a.k.a. Golgotha is the biblical hill outside Jerusalem where they crucified some people.

    • …d’oh! I honestly did check AVR’s comment and thought they’d missed that one. I’m just blind.

  5. “…and were as this around as the thigh.”

    “…their normal looked were so alien or heavily made up in the first place.”

    “She was only wearing the underlying bodysuit on her bottom half and as it turned out,t he body suit was a leotard.”
    Does not compute. By definition a leotard comes up to the shoulders.

    “Rings planets…”


    This isn’t a word, not sure what was intended though.

    Bonus points for the Etrigan homage, even if it’s only the short form.

    • Re: the leotard: she’s got the leotard on her whole body, but the leotard is the ONLY thing she’s got on on the bottom half.

      re: Etrigan: I wanted to do the whole thing, but I spent way too much time trying to do a Brand X variant of it.

  6. Typos

    he top as completely
    her top was completely

    The scale male
    The scale mail

    out,t he
    out, the

    think tale
    thick tail

    A beam of indescribable energy,
    … and then you describe it. Maybe it’s just weird energy or something similar?

    midnight blue outlines
    midnight blue outlined

    fractile edge
    fractal edge (not totally certain here)

    & I’m pretty sure that that much stuff in the sky would produce enough scattered light to drown out the stars if this were any place real. If it’s just an illusory backdrop, no problem.

    • Oh yeah, and technically ‘scale mail’ is an oxymoron. Mail means specifically the stuff made out of rings of metal. D&D got it wrong. ‘Scale armor’ is less inaccurate.

    • Fractal is right.

      And yeah, it’s a reality-warped zone copying the sky from a Kirby comic.

  7. I find Hermes an annoying, yet amusing character. Well done.

  8. Hmm… A clamp and a taser seem rather tame for a weapon called a ‘mantis claw’, considering how the thing, well, the other thing mantises are known for is being little insect murder machines with huge sword-like claws for skewering prey.

    Well done with the tone. I couldn’t help having the early part play in my head in a stereotypical overdramatic radio drama voice.

  9. Being a massive Green Hornet fan, this is amazing. Excellent use of DU characters, too.

  10. Typos

    On the intro on the front page – This time the subject have
    This time the subject has
    This time the subjects have

    Jade Mantas,
    Jade Mantis,

    idly contemplating taking a late lunch.
    Possibly an early lunch?

    Christina had no been
    Christina had not been

    senior police reports,
    senior police reporter,

    hot on his heals.
    hot on his heels.

    moving smuggled good
    moving smuggled goods

    weirdly-style hair,
    weirdly-styled hair,

    armored personnel character
    armored personnel carrier

    Outside,t he
    Outside, the

    tot he ground
    to the ground

    into the frey.
    into the fray.

    ground zero of the flash-bang rocket.
    OK, this is a common misuse which may even be intentional. Ground zero doesn’t mean where the explosion occurs; it means the area where there is no chance of surviving the explosion without hard protection like a bunker. Zero = chance of survival, you see.

    marked to defeat
    marked the defeat

    magic.”A pulse
    magic.” A pulse

  11. I don’t know the genre. Is it normal that four of the team would use the Latin names for their power sources while the leader uses the colloquial name? A glance at wikipedia suggests Phorusracid or Phorusracos.

    Typos & the like.

    shoulder,s he
    shoulder, she

    hols a shinai,
    hold a shinai,

    get me into kendo.
    get me into kendo.”

    “You guys any your
    “You guys and your

    concealed button answer it.
    concealed button to answer it.

    Any may your superpowers
    And may your superpowers

    also known as coyote.
    also known as Coyote.

    shower of fish an ice
    shower of fish and ice

    armor made from DVD and CD cases.
    Armor??? That stuff makes eggshells seem solid.

    Surrounding it was humanoid creatures
    Surrounding it were humanoid creatures

    • Latin names: In the original show, they used the Stock Dinosaurs/Prehistoric Mammmals, so there wasn’t an issue; a Triceratops is a Triceratops, though Trini had the Sabretooth Tiger instead of the Smilodon. Come DinoThunder, they do use a mix and then mash it up with ‘zord’, so you have the Pachecephalozord et al. I really just used ‘Terror Bird’ because it sounds like Kimberly’s pteradactyl call from the original.

      CD armor: Power rangers monsters aren’t meant to make sense.

  12. Typos

    she was few fast
    Either just:
    she was fast
    she was very fast

    stare at use
    stare at us

    not clearly robotic
    now clearly robotic

    That doesn’t seem like enough. I’ll take another look later to see what I’m missing.

    • to rolls to her
      to roll to her

      With his attacked
      With his attackers

      hat the evoked
      hat that evoked

      field release one
      field released one

      Its made a
      It made a

  13. Typos

    made slopped from
    made sloppy from

    cycle of hr
    cycle of her

    He looked around at the assembled and smiled.
    He looked around at the assembled heroes and smiled.
    He looked around at the assembly and smiled.

    a thrown carved
    a throne carved

    An inner glow filtered from the creature’s—known as Mab-Her-Voice—core,
    Not actually wrong, but awkwardly phrased.

    not possible with enough
    now possible with enough

    • A couple more:

      “I span new reality
      might be OK, might be:
      “I spun new reality

      her friends in allies
      her friends and allies

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