Domino #2

    Domino » Domino #2 - Perfect Weapon (Part 2) released by Marvel on June 2003.

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    Her past has always been a mystery, even to her, but soon Domino will discover secrets about herself than even she would rather have never uncovered.

    Domino hacks her own way into the dead hacker’s apartment to see if he made a copy of the CD which was destroyed. Though his computer is in police custody, she discovers a back-up CD hidden inside a fish tank just before two robed men attack her, though she quickly defeats them. Still wondering why they were after her, she returns to her hotel room and finds Jonathan waiting for her. As she showers, he secretly downloads the CD to a handheld gadget. They argue about how little information has actually been gathered about her mother before he mentions that he has another assignment for her regarding the patrilineal clan network of Somalia. His pager goes off just as they appear to be about to reveal feelings for each other and he leaves, telling her to get some rest as they leave for Mogadishu in the morning. She checks out the information on the CD and discovers information about something called Project Armageddon which her mother appears to be involved with. Jonathan watches her covertly on a monitor from another hotel room and speaks with several other people around the world, asking them to check on Project Armageddon and if the project has any links with Domino or her relatives. Domino meanwhile contacts Cable who is on a mission and after telling her he knows nothing about Project Armageddon, signs off abruptly. As he hangs up, she turns and speaks to the camera watching her, having known all the time that Jonathan was spying on her. However, in his room Jonathan is attacked by two more robed men, possibly the same ones who attacked Domino and in order to protect the information he has, Jonathan self-destructs his apartment, killing all three men. Meanwhile, in the Florida Everglades two soldiers shot a man for, in their words, “seeking to undermine the security of this great country.”

    Full Synopsis:

    (day eleven)

    An underground car park in Atlanta is eerily quiet. Three security guards have been taken out with tranquilizer darts and Domino has made her way up the stairwell while thinking about the last few days. Her assignment was supposed to be easy; meet the hacker, get the goods and finally find her long-lost mom. One ‘copter crash, a dead hacker and a helluva lot of unwanted publicity later and all she has is a picture of a woman who may not even be her mother and the local and federal government on her back. They say that the first step is the hardest, she thinks, let’s see what step two holds.

    Using a laptop with a complex looking program, she manages to break the hacker’s security code governing his apartment which has been sealed off by police following his death. Her hacking must have included a little luck as the deceased would have placed a powerful door code to prevent entry. She enters his apartment and she finds that step two holds a big fat mess. The apartment is the typical hackers place, mess everywhere and nothing filed where it would logically be. Clicking on a couple of torches on the side of her head (Orbital style), she leafs through his filing cabinet and realizes that she’ll never find anything there. Though his monitors remain, the computers are long gone, evidence taken away by police. They’ll have some stories to tell, thinks Domino as she realizes that maybe luck just isn’t on her side tonight.

    She checks the rest of the apartment, knowing that a hacker worth his salt would have kept a backup of the CD which was destroyed. He may have been paranoid but he wasn’t stupid. She thinks that if she was a friendless computer geek, where would she hide it. She spots a fish tank and reckons she’d keep it with her only friends. She dips her hand in the water and reaches inside the pirate chest laid at the bottom and her luck kicks in. The backup CD is there and she smiles for a second before the reflective surface reveals a robed man with a sword behind her ready to strike.

    Domino ducks as the sword slices the air above her and cracks the fish tank. She tries to land a kick in her assailant’s face but he avoids her and a second man punches her. The guns she is holding are knocked clean out of her hands and one of them is caught be one of her enemies. She readies herself for a fight, grabbing a lamp stand and using it as a bo-staff. The swordsman snaps it in two but Domino still manages to break the rest over the second man‘s head and throw him over her back. She then uses her athleticism to flip her right leg behind her and over her own shoulder, landing a kick on the swordsman who is defenestrated. She quickly looks behind her to find the first man has vanished and a look through the window finds no trace of the second. She reflects on the fight and wonders what the hell that was about and why they were here at the apartment. It’s time to find some answers.

    In downtown Atlanta, at the shapely Georgia Marquee Hotel in the Peachtree area, Domino returns to her room and flicks the light switch on, immediately saying, “Get out.” Seated facing the television set is Jonathan who replies that a hello would suffice. He says he came as soon as word reached him. Domino places her laptop on the television set cabinet and tells him that his name doesn’t appear on the hotel registry for this room and he should take the hint. He sits, fingers clasped together and seemingly not bothered by Domino’s slight hostility. He tells her he traveled through six time zones to be there and Domino replies that she appreciates the thought but he’s wasting his time; she can handle things on her own. As she heads into the bathroom stripping off her top, Jonathan asks her if she can handle the label ‘mutant terrorist,’ mentioning her presence in Centennial Park but she reiterates that she can handle it as she shuts the bathroom door.

    As she cleans herself up and showers, Jonathan grabs her laptop and chats to her as he connects some leads to it. He asks Domino whether she uncovered any useful information in regards to her mother before their friend met his accident. She thinks for a second before replying no. He says he’s sorry to hear that as he downloads information from the computer onto a handheld device. He asks if he left her with any leads to explore, maybe a name but Domino says he left nothing and asks if he has anything to report from his end. Before he answers, he is left speechless as she emerged from the bathroom in a slightly revealing dressing gown.

    Meanwhile, in the Florida Everglades, a man rushes through the swamp in terror, saying, “Dead. I’m dead, they’re right behind me,” to himself. As he is distracted by looking backwards, he fails to notice a branch sticking out of the water and trips over it, finding himself face to snout with an alligator. Suddenly, out of nowhere a man in military attire leaps onto the alligator’s back and rams a knife into its eye which causes the beast to flip him before swimming off in pain.

    The soldier, wearing a black t-shirt, black beret and khaki trousers watches it disappear as the frightened man pushes himself against a nearby tree and says, “Anything you want! Just name it! Just please don’t kill me.” The soldier fires his pistol three times, missing the man’s head by inches each time. He looks petrified as the soldier lights a cigar and says, “Mr. Mallory. You are a dead man. You thought to pry into a matter of national security. I know your cover is a joke. I know the people you work for. You seek to undermine the security of this great country. I’m done screwing around. Soldier?” Another soldier aims his pistol at Mallory’s head and fires at point blank, killing him.

    Back in Atlanta, Domino wants some answers and tells Jonathan that he promised her information and all she has is a picture. Jonathan is surprised she has the picture which Domino tells him came from the hacker. He asks questioningly whether she thinks a picture of her mother is important. Drying her hair, Domino replies that it’s a picture but it could be of anyone. Jonathon reminds her that the hacker was highly regarded and is about to tell her he seriously doubts it would be anyone other than her mother but she cuts him off, saying the bottom line is she has no evidence that what she’s getting is equal to what she’s giving. She wants results. Jonathan replies that if things were that easy then she wouldn’t need his assistance and anyway, she isn’t without resources of her own.

    She turns and peers out of the window over night-time Atlanta and tells Jonathan that she has vague recollections of a woman, but she doesn’t know her, doesn’t know where she herself is from, not even who she is. She needs something more, unable to accept that this is all she knows of her life. He tells her he understands but adds that he didn’t just come here to make sure she was all right; he came because another mission of dire urgency has arisen. He asks her how familiar she is with the patrilineal clan network of Somalia. Domino uncovers her head from the towel and angrily questions this change of direction, telling him that firstly he doesn’t dictate her schedule or her life; she can come and go as she pleases. Secondly, she adds, the way she figures it he still owes her for the last time. The hacker boy didn’t cut it and she wants hard evidence, and she wants it yesterday.

    He puts his hand up to calm her and asks her to curtail her anger and save it for the enemy. He will help her but first she must help him. Domino is furious by now and says, “Tell you what, why don’t you take your help and shove it right up your….” Jonathan grabs her wrist and shout, “Enough!” Domino glares at him, telling him he has two seconds to let go of her wrist before his gets broken. Jonathan tries to tell her something but stumbles over his words. “Domino…I..” Domino calmly replies yes, expecting a different response to the one she receives. He looks at the floor and holding his pager in his hand, tells her he has to go, and she should get some rest as they leave for Mogadishu in the morning. Domino looks upset as Jonathan departs using his crutches.

    The room now feels empty as Domino thinks about getting back to business. She reaches for her laptop and switches it on. On the screen, the omega symbol appears and she reads the words ‘Project Armageddon: Weapon of Last Resort’ which arc their way around the omega symbol. Project Armageddon, she thinks, maybe she’s stolen a copy of next fall’s Fox television line up. Then again, maybe not. As she brings up numerous windows, she thinks to herself that if this project is as big as it claims, then how in hell has it stayed so hidden for so long. We’re talking about a weapon, a perfect weapon here which if she’s right, could destroy civilization. Something like this isn’t easy to hide but of course, her mother knows a great deal about hiding so maybe it’s not so farfetched if she’s involved. Suddenly she turns, looks at the curtains to her right and says, “Hello?”

    Elsewhere, Jonathan enters a darkened room and connects himself to an earpiece which is in turn connected to an array of monitors and a computer system. He introduces himself by his pseudonym, Big Bad Wolf and reports that a link has been established with Little Red Riding Hood. He continues to say that he is currently uploading CD files and asks those on the other end to prepare to authenticate data. On the screens are representatives from all around the globe, all on monitors surrounding the omega symbol which appeared on Domino’s laptop. Jonathan continues, “Verify all known references to ‘Project Armageddon.’ Cross-reference CIA, FBI, S.H.I.E.L.D and Pentagon records and databases. Establish contact with our A.I.M and Hydra ‘resources’ for any potential intelligence sharing. Use the designated Swiss account if either party is favorable.” He continues to tell them to also explore any possible links between said project and the subject, Domino or any relations therein. They have ten minutes. He signs himself off as he watches Domino on another monitor, sat at her laptop.

    As she types away, Domino wonders what her mom has gotten herself into; why couldn’t she have been a supermarket clerk or a Fortune 500 CEO or something else easy? No, she had to involve herself in some kind of black-ops end-of-the-world thingamajig which is too big for her. She needs to bring in the big guns. She contacts Cable and his face appears on her screen. He is on a mission and holding a rifle with telescopic sighting. She tells him what her problem is and he replies that he’s never heard of Project Armageddon. He adds that she shouldn’t bother him; she’s a big girl and should handle it. He has too many problems to deal with now and if she thinks she’s unable to cope, then she should maybe contact the X-Men or Avengers. Before Domino can ask anything further, he logs off and Domino is exasperated at his response. She swivels on her chair and looks directly at the camera Jonathan is using to spy on her. “I guess it’s just me and you Jonathan, you up for it?” she asks.

    Watching this from his base, Jonathan thinks ‘she’s good.’ She knew he was watching her the whole time. Of course, he thinks, he shouldn’t be surprised as one should always be aware of one’s surroundings and he reaches for his crutch as two robed swordsmen approach him from behind. As the first sword is about to be brought down on him, he swings his crutch over his left shoulder and pierces the first assailant through the chest, his crutch going all the way through and out the other side, covered in blood. The man’s sword crashes into one of the monitors. Jonathan falls backwards from his chair as his second opponent tries to slice him but he uses the crutch, still in the other man’s chest, to block the blow and throws the first man over his head with the crutch taking his partner with him. However, the uninjured man leaps backwards and is about to bring his sword down on Jonathan as lying on the ground, he reaches inside his jacket pocket.

    Domino meanwhile discovers some employee files on her laptop, files relating to her mother complete with a photograph. After all these years, she thinks, after all her efforts, she’s found her mother at last. Maybe her luck is about to change. At the same time, Jonathan pulls a small device from his pocket and before the sword can be plunged into him, the top floor of the hotel rocks with a huge explosion.



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