Characters: X-Force -- Shatterstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Rictor, Cannonball, Domino, Warpath, Cable, Boomer, Moonstar, Feral, Magma, and Deadpool.
Pairings: Rictor/Shatterstar, Domino/Cable, Sunspot/Magma. Minor Warpath/Siryn/Deadpool and Cannonball/Boomer.
Genre: Alternate Universe, Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Romance
Rated: NC-17 for extreme violence, language, dark themes, sexual situations (het and slash), and character death.
Disclaimer: I don’t own a damn thing; I’m just playing for awhile.
Summary: A well known terrorist organization has made its move, and its dictatorship starts with the fall of the country’s greatest heroes. A few make it out alive, but they are on the run and in for the fight of their lives. Who lives and who dies? And where do you go when there’s no where left to hide?
Chapter Summary: X-Force is apprehended and taken into HYDRA custody. :O Does Domino have a trick or two up her sleeve, or has the team's running finally come to an end?!
Part: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine,
Logged into HYDRA Security override #296180003.
Psychic database of Nathan Christopher Charles Dayspring.
Requesting access to mutant files…access granted.
Resource file storage number: 60000708.
Strike team designation: X-Force.
Nathan Christopher Charles Dayspring (FLAGGED)
(Unknown Mutant) Domino
Samuel Zachary Guthrie (FLAGGED)
Theresa Maeve Rourke Cassidy
Tabitha Smith **APPREHENDED**
(Unknown Mutant) Shatterstar
Amara Juliana Olivia Aquilla
Danielle Moonstar **APPREHENDED**
Julio Esteban Richter
Wade Wilson **APPREHENDED**
Accessing prisoner relocation files…access granted.
Subject: Nathan Christopher Charles Dayspring/Cable.
Stats: 6’8”; 350 lbs
Power Description: Telepathy, telekinesis, cyberpathy, chronoskimming. Also see file #7001 on techno-organic information.
Relocation Status: Zone A.
Subject: Samuel Zachary Guthrie/Cannonball.
Stats: 6’0”; 181 lbs
Power Description: Thermal energy field propulsion, blast field, superhuman durability, immortality.
Relocation Status: Zone A.
Subject: (Unknown Mutant) Shatterstar.
Nationality: Outer world species/Mojoworld
Stats: 6’3”; 195 lbs
Power Description: Super human strength/speed/agility/reflexes/senses/m
STATUS: HIGH RISK.
Relocation Status: Zone B.
Subject: Wade Wilson/Deadpool.
Stats: 6’2”; 210 lbs
Power Description: Non-mutant personal regeneration**
STATUS: HIGH RISK/APPREHENDED.
Relocation Status: Zone B.
Subject: Roberto DaCosta/Sunspot.
Stats: 5’8”; 185 lbs
Power Description: Solar radiation absorption/rechanneling, flight, heat/light projection, superhuman strength, plasma blasts
Relocation Status: Zone C.
Subject: Julio Esteban Richter/Rictor.
Stats: 5’9”; 145 lbs
Power Description: Seismic energy control and projection. Geokinesis; shockwave blasts **directed, geological/seismic immunity
Relocation Status: Zone C.
Subject: James Proudstar/Warpath.
Nationality: Native North American
Stats: 7’2”; 350 lbs
Power Description: Superhuman strength/speed/senses
Relocation Status: Zone C.
***If any of the above listed mutants arrive in poor condition, request to change relocation status to Zone D.
Subjects: (Unknown Mutant) Domino, Theresa Maeve Rourke Cassidy/Siryn, Tabitha Smith/Meltdown, Amara Juliana Olivia Aquilla/Magma, Danielle Moonstar, Maria Callasantos/Feral.
Relocation status: Zone D.
Permission granted to save changes to status files. To create new folder, the existing resource file storage number 60000708 needs to be changed to storage number 2001000397. Make needed changes and relocate prisoners immediately. High risk subjects are not to be processed manually and need to be cleared by lieutenant and transferred to
“I want all of you lined up, single file! Stop when you reach the green meter on the wall. You are not to talk unless you are spoken to. Those of you who are unwilling to cooperate will be dealt with accordingly.” The officer eyed the line of mutants in front of him, and folded his hands behind his back. “You are being monitored via security cameras. Any moves you make and words you say right now are being recorded. We have orders on how to deal with each of you, and you will be separated and processed in classified groups. Do I make myself clear?”
“No, can you repeat that?” Domino rolled her eyes. “Because I’m pretty sure I didn’t get that last part.”
The officer narrowed his eyes. “You are being mon--”
“I think she was being sarcastic, sir, with all due respect,” a younger man in an emerald green uniform leaned over.
“Thank you for that, agent,” the senior officer glared and turned back to the group. “I need the one with the brand over the eye.”
“Which?” the agent looked stupidly between Domino and Shatterstar. “There’s two!”
The older man rolled his eyes. “The male. I want both ankles shackled together, and his hands are to be cuffed to his waist – behind his back. Under no circumstances is he to have free reign of his limbs.”
Shatterstar stared down at the agent responsible for him, and the man swallowed hard. Domino noted that ‘Star was the only one throughout the group looking the least bit calm at that moment, and for that the merc was glad. She needed just one of them to have a cool head through this while she figured out exactly what it was she needed to do. She was not particularly fond of the fact that she had to get into a HYDRA base that way, but it was their best shot. And considering the fact that they had been outnumbered by about ninety-five people, it was not like she had much of a choice. But if the kids could just trust her and keep calm, she was determined to get them out in one piece.
“What do you want with him?” Rictor questioned as Shatterstar was pulled from the group and they began to lock him up in cold, silver steel.
“Shut up,” the senior officer ordered.
“Why does he have to go? Aren’t you going to take us too?”
“He’s being processed elsewhere. So, one more time, shut your mouth.”
“Why elsewhere?!” Rictor demanded, and Domino grabbed him by the wrist to hold him in place.
“Cool it, Ric.”
“Cable’s information was very thorough,” the officer smiled. Domino’s blood ran cold at that and she clenched her jaw.
“What information are you talking about?”
“Your fearless leader sure does have very in depth records on the lot of you,” he continued with a smug look. He turned to Shatterstar and tapped a hand against his face tauntingly. “You are going to be quite helpful to us where you’re going. An interesting specimen you are.”
“Fuck you!” Rictor yelled again.
“Julio, be quiet,” Shatterstar muttered emotionlessly. Silver eyes remained on the senior officer – cool and calculating. Dom could tell the warrior was sizing him up. Good.
“I want you girls to step to the left. Boys to the right,” the younger man announced.
Rictor got more agitated. “Why the hell are they splitting us up? You guys are fucked!”
“Except you,” the senior officer placed a hand on the Mexican’s chest. “Julio Richter, right? Seismic energy controller, youngest of the bunch, and you’re an immigrant from
The Mexican stopped and stared icily at the man.
“I want him in Zone D with the girls.” The officer looked him up and down. “He’s injured…sounds sick too. He’s got no place with the others.”
“Yes, sir,” the younger man wrote across his clipboard. He looked up at the mutants with an emotionless stare. “The collars on your necks are suppressing your powers. You cannot take it off, so don’t try. It is monitoring and storing data on your X-gene and is therefore bonded to you. All of your personal effects collected thus far will be going into a disposal containment center.”
The older man nodded and marched down the line of them. “The rest of your effects and the clothing you are currently wearing will be removed and destroyed. Any sick, injured, female, or child prisoner is to be processed on the south side of the building.” He stepped in front of Rictor, Siryn, and Domino. “Two of you are missing. Where are they?”
“Who are you talking about?” Domino questioned curiously, wondering just how much information that fucker Cable had given up on them. “You have all of us.”
“Mutant subjects code named Feral and Magma. Where are they?”
Domino did not bat an eye. “You should know that. It was your men that got to them, or are you guys that fucking unorganized with your own crews that you haven’t even been taking that information down?”
The older man turned to the younger officer, who had made a call. After a few seconds, the young blonde nodded at the lieutenant. “Subjects have been confirmed dead in the
“Good,” the older officer smiled.
“Fuck you! Va’ se foder! Você more!” Roberto screamed. “You son of a bitch!”
The older man just ignored him and turned his gaze to Sam. “Are you Guthrie?”
Cannonball nodded, and Domino could see the fear in his eyes – although his face did not betray a thing. “Yes, sir.”
“I want him transported with the alien. He’s to go right to Baron von Strucker, no questions.”
Sam’s eyes widened, and he stepped back. “What? Why! Why me!? And who’s Strucker?”
“You’ll find out soon enough,” the officer muttered and glanced at the door when seven more HYDRA agents appeared at the lobby entrance. “Ah, gentlemen! So wonderful of you to join us. We have some specimens here for you to collect.”
The group looked towards Rictor and the girls with disgusting smirks on their faces. Wherever it was the ‘Zone D’ was located, Domino had a sneaking suspicion it was not somewhere she wanted to be. Just by the way they had described not needing Ric anymore, she figured they were the group that HYDRA had no use for. Probably the ones that were going to be disposed of. And figuring Cable’s squad had been there too – since they were quite adamant that they had Cable with them – was it possible Dani and Tabitha were in Zone D as well?
The seven men were all big; each at least as tall as Sam, and just as, if not more, muscular. The group of them alone well surpassed Terry, Domino, and Rictor in size – and most likely strength, too – and having all of them assigned to their small group was putting them at a disadvantage. The only way they would have been able to take them all out at once was with Terry’s powers, but she was nullified. Domino needed the other boys for help, but that was looking less and less likely as they were prepped.
The first man grabbed Terry by the arm and slammed her into the wall behind them. The redhead yelped helplessly. “I would’ve moved if’n ye just asked!”
“Shut up,” he hissed into her ear. “Spread your legs!”
“Yuir honestly gonna frisk me!?” she asked incredulously. “I have no pants on!”
“Better for me then,” he leered.
“You better watch it!” Jimmy yelled and stepped forward. Instantly guns were pointed at him, and he lifted his hands up. For just a split second fear painted his features, but it was flipped back to anger once more when the guard ran his hands up the redhead’s bare thighs. “Don’t touch her!”
They paid no heed to Warpath though. Instead, they grabbed Domino and then Rictor, and pushed them both into the wall as well. The merc clenched her jaw as her guard began pulling equipment out of every hiding spot she had. “This one’s full of weapons!” he yelled. “Take off your boots, bitch.”
“Ask nicely,” she rolled her eyes.
“You want nice?” he scoffed. He quickly spun Domino around and blasted her in the face with what looked to be a baton. With no powers to defend her, the hit connected squarely with her eyebrow and she stumbled to the floor roughly.
“Domino!” Rictor yelled, and tried to move. The guards threw him forcefully to the floor as well, and twisted his arms behind his back. His face had fallen close enough to Dom’s that she could feel his heavy breathing on her cheek. But she could not see him very well; they had struck her hard. So hard that there were spots of colour in her vision, and she had to shake her head. Rictor growled angrily. “Are you okay!?”
“I’m fine,” she muttered, and winced when she was pulled back up by the front of her uniform. Blood flowed freely from her face, and the guard grabbed her wrists to prevent her from wiping it away.
“You should learn to shut the fuck up, bitch!”
“Don’t talk to her that way!” Roberto yelled.
“I see this is going less well than I hoped for,” the senior officer sighed. “I want the inferiors dealt with. Get these other boys shackled and brought down to the men’s wing. Guthrie and Shatterstar are to be prepped for transportation to
“You got it,” the guards laughed in Domino’s ear and leaned down closer to her. “Oh am I gonna have a fun time with you. You’re gonna regret being a smart ass.”
“You can’t take us!” Rictor argued.
His guard tilted his head. “You should be happy, spick. At least you get to be the lucky one; you can have some fun with us and the ladies here.”
Rictor rolled his eyes and struggled as they cuffed his hands behind his back. “Who the hell said I considered that lucky!?”
“Great, not only is he a wetback, but he’s a faggot too,” another guard spat. “What a disgrace you are. You’re going first.”
“First?” the Mexican questioned, ignoring the remarks. “Where am I going first!?”
Three of the guards stepped back and began talking amongst themselves. Domino was still being held against the wall by her assigned agent, but she still could see the entire group before her. Whatever it was they were saying looked as though it were a detailed plan, and she tried to read their lips. However, their whispers made it difficult to pull off. But for whatever reason, their planning made Shatterstar finally move.
“No,” he grunted and struggled against his restraints. He had been completely calm and silent for the entire time they were being prepped, but now, for whatever reason, he was completely going off the wall. “Don’t let them be taken! Warpath, did you hear them?”
Jimmy shook his head confusedly. “What!? Dude, nullifier!” he reminded.
“Fekt,” Shatterstar hissed, and dropped to his knees when his ankle shackles made him sway. His muscles were contracting and working violently as he continued to fight, and he clenched his teeth angrily. “No! Don’t let them….fekt, go after them! You are not restrained!”
“What the fuck is his problem?!” an officer yelled.
“He can hear,” Rictor muttered under his breath, sounding totally shocked. “Dios! I forgot about that! Shit! They’re gonna do something bad to us, Dom, I know it! I can’t let them take me! I can’t!”
“Fuck,” Domino cursed. “How the hell can he hear?”
“Not his mutant powers so it can’t be nullified!” Rictor whispered under his breath.
Shatterstar struggled more until one of the chains pinning his left arm back snapped free. The HYDRA agents instantly surrounded him, and he grunted. “Run! Go!”
“You have five seconds to shut the fuck up, mutie!” they screamed, each of them pointing and cocking a gun at him. The warrior shook his head and continued trying to free his arm completely, still kneeling before them without taking his gaze away. “We said stop!”
“Shatty stop!” Rictor yelled frantically, and tried to push past the agent pinning him back. “They’ll kill you!”
“Fekt!” Shatterstar shouted and finally tore his hand free all the way. The instant he lifted it toward a HYDRA agent, five gunshots ran out and the warrior fell to the floor. Three hit his abdomen and the fourth his chest, tearing the front of his uniform and painting it scarlet with blood. The fifth struck him in the face, and snapped his neck back awkwardly.
“SHATTERSTAR!” Rictor and Terry screamed fearfully. One captor grabbed a gun of his own and pistol whipped Ric in the head to shut him up, and the Mexican slid down the wall and to the ground roughly. The group of agents surrounding the Mojoworlder looked down at his seemingly dead body before all of them turned around to face the rest of X-Force.
“Now look what you did,” the lieutenant shook his head. “One of you just had to die. As you can see, we’re not playing games here. Not anymore. You can either listen to what we tell you to do, or you’ll end up like your gene-freak friend on the ground there. Do you understand me?!”
All the kids at that point were visibly shaken, and Domino cursed; that would have been the opportune moment for them to bounce free, and now she had no idea what to do. The guards belonging to Zone D continued their grabbing at the girls, and the merc was pretty sure they had taken every last defense she had stored on her uniform. She shot another look to the boys; so far only Sam and Rictor had been cuffed. The guards had been too busy messing around with Shatterstar to finish Jimmy and Roberto. Terry also seemed to have healed up nicely, but Domino and Rictor were now dealing with possible head injuries. Probably not anything that would damper them too long, but still enough to take certain weakness as precaution.
Rictor stirred from the floor and looked up, blood soaking his forehead. “
“I want the inferiors taken now,” the senior pointed toward the door. “And go before anything else happens.”
But then Rictor started laughing. A strange, choked gurgle at first, but it turned into a full blown laughter in just a few seconds. For a moment, Domino was afraid the kid had lost it. A former torture victim, he was probably not too thrilled at the prospect of being held captive. But when movement caught the corner of her eye, the merc realized what he was doing and went along with it.
“Rictor! This is not a time to be fooling around!” she yelled at him. “Smarten up!”
“You guys are so fucked,” he laughed harder.
“Do you wanna end up dead too, freak!?” the guards approached and held up their weapons. The sight of the guns added a nervous pitch to the Mexican’s laugh, but he did not stop.
Rictor pushed himself up the wall to stand at ease with his team, and he smirked a little. “If you can get me first.”
“What?” the guards shot each other confused looks before pointing their weapons at the Mexican. “I think he’s begging for it!”
And at that moment, one pissed off looking alien stood from the floor – hands and feet free of shackles. From behind the HYDRA agents, he dug his fingers into his neck and literally tore the nullifying collar from his throat. Approaching two guards, Shatterstar grabbed them by their faces and smashed their skulls together with a strength he did not use often. Blood spattered and flew, and a sickening crunch echoed off of the walls of the base lobby.
Domino took 'Star’s cue and flung forward to kick a distracted lieutenant in the face. The old man stumbled to the ground and the merc leap-frogged over him and onto another guard’s shoulders. Legs wrapped tightly around his neck, and she gestured for her team to attack. “Go! Now!”
The kids – save for the cuffed Sam and Rictor -- went to work, using hand to hand combat skills that they had complained for years about being forced to learn. Domino grinned wildly, and took the face in between her legs and twisted it abruptly, neck snapping from her actions. The body of the guard fell to the floor, and she leapt off and over to Shatterstar. “Get this off me!”
He punched a guard in the face, twisted, and landed a kick to his temple. Reaching out, fingertips grazed against the flesh of Dom’s neck. “It will hurt; it’s bonded to your flesh.”
Domino eyed the already healing marks of the warrior’s throat and nodded. “Don’t care; I’m feeling lucky.”
He smirked before tearing the metal free. She screamed at the feel of her skin ripping, and glared. “Fuck!”
“I warned you,” he shrugged before being knocked to the ground by another bullet to the shoulder. “Fekt! You imbeciles have shot me eight times this week!”
Domino snorted and back flipped through a shower of ammo. “Don’t act like you didn’t bring that on yourself, ‘Star!”
“It still hurts!” he growled and jumped to his feet. Two more men came at him, but he swiftly dropped to the ground and swung a leg around to trip them both. Like a cat, he sprung from his position and snatched the guns the men were previously holding. The Mojoworlder flung one back to Domino and the merc howled with glee.
“Oh precious gun! How I missed thee!” she cackled manically and spun out of the way of another guard. He crashed his head into the wall behind her, and she promptly pointed her weapon at his face. “Don’t even make me use this because I so totally want to!”
“Sound the alarm!” her captive screamed.
“Oh you had to do that,” she sighed, and pulled her trigger. Blood sprayed, and she winced. “God, I forgot how much I hate doing that sometimes. There a bathroom around here?” she joked.
Shatterstar shook his head, and instantly opened fire on a group of agents running through the entrance of the lobby. Domino frowned and caught up with him, nudging his side. “Gimme that! I want the machine gun!”
“Fekt, woman! Let me work!”
“Gimme the fucking gun, ‘Star! Get at least Jimmy and Terry free of those damn collars because we could really use their powers right about now!”
The warrior sighed irritably and shot a few more at the door before grudgingly handing over his weapon. Domino smiled happily again at the prospect of both hands being filled with her familiar line of defense, and she kept an eye on the door as Shatty quickly followed his orders. Both teens let out pained cries at the removal of the nullifiers, but Domino knew it was for the best. A couple of scratches and punctures would heal if they could get their asses out of the facility.
“ALERT CODE RED! ZONE 2 IS UNDER ATTACK! ALL AGENTS APPROACH! ALERT!”
“Fuck!” Roberto scowled and ran over to Shatterstar. “Me next! C’mon, buddy!”
Shatterstar nodded and did as he was told, as Jimmy scampered off to put his strength to use as well. The Apache man rounded up Sam and Rictor and worked on their collars and handcuffs. Domino was pleased at the teamwork, and readied her trigger finger. “Okay kids, anyone without long ranged energy attacks is to feel these bastards up for some weapons. Actually – scratch that – powers or not, take their weapons. All of you. Whatever you guys can grab up and hide now will come in handy later!” she eyed the team as they scrambled to scavenge. “That means you too, Rictor!”
The Mexican scowled and began grabbing a few guns for himself. “Ain’t like I can hide them in a god damn hospital gown!”
“You do have a coat on!” Domino rolled her eyes before quickly opening fire on another group.
“Fuck this shit!” Ric yelled. He stuffed the guns into his coat and wiggled his fingers. “Come on, baby! Shake for me!” he clenched his jaw and focused on his hands tiredly. For a few seconds nothing happened, but a dull green glow soon enveloped his fists. “All right!” he cheered and stared at the door as a new batch of agents sprung forth. “You motherfuckers are gonna regret not killing this Mexicano!”
Domino toppled to the ground as a massive backlash of seismic energy exploded through the younger man’s hands and rocked the entire building. The whole wall of the entrance buckled under the pressure and literally crushed all of the entering soldiers. Smoke bellowed from electrical circuits and a few water pipes broke, creating a complete blockade from the base’s corridors. Domino blinked at the mess and turned to look at the Mexican.
“Well then…or we can just do that.”
He shrugged. “You try being out of action for a week, chica! I needed to get that out!”
Domino snorted and shook her head. “We gotta get outta here, kiddies. I’m sure they’ve got explosives or magic gas or something hidden around here to get at us.”
“But where are we gonna go?” Terry questioned. “We dinnae have our van, nor do we even have our supply bags.”
“I want my swords,” Shatterstar muttered and began breaking open trunks around the room to look for his weapons.
“Hey! Look for my guns too while you’re at it!” Domino shook her head. “Look guys, I don’t know where we have to go, but our best bet is to get you fliers going top speed until we can find a place to crash. If we steal any vehicles they’ll easily track us down.”
“It’s a city,” Sam replied. “Ah remember seein’ that on the map when we were lookin’ foah
“What exactly did you hear, by the way,” Jimmy questioned. “You went crazy back there!”
Shatterstar stood straight with a happy grin when he found his double bladed sword. He inspected it carefully before looking at Warpath again. “They said that Cable is at
“Figures,” Domino muttered, and held out her hands when Shatterstar began pulling more of their weapons out of the confiscation boxes. “And they said every woman and child automatically goes to Zone D?”
“That’s what I heard,” Terry muttered and folded her arms. The team jumped slightly when they heard the HYDRA agents fighting to make their way through fallen rubble. “So I take it then Dani and Tab would nae be here.”
“We don’t know that!” Sam interrupted. “They could still be--”
“Not here,” Shatterstar agreed. “Maybe with Cable, but most definitely not here.”
“Sammy,” Domino sighed. “Look, we get outta here and get to Cable first, okay? We have to figure out what the hell they’re doing with that big idiot and who the hell else they have captured. Because if
The Kentuckian blinked back his disappointment. “Fine.”
“All right, let’s get a move on then!” Domino ordered. “Sam you take Rictor and make a path through the walls here. Bobby, you take Jimmy and Shatty with you. Terry, you okay to fly with me?”
The redhead nodded. “Aye, I won’t be runnin’ anywhere with no shoes on me feet.”
“Good,” Domino nodded and cocked her weapons. “Sammy, you remember where you saw
The blonde nodded. “Definitely north from
“All right, let’s get a move on then,” the merc gestured for Sam to go first. “Shatty, when we get outside I want you to blow up this base. You think you can handle that?”
“And fliers, I want you all going top speed and stick together. Don’t stop until you find a place to hide out a safe distance from here. Are we understood?”
The three teens nodded, and Sam grabbed Rictor against his chest before activating his blast field around them and flying off and out through the side wall. Everyone else grouped up, and the building shook again as HYDRA continued to fight through the blockade. Domino re-holstered all of her equipment, and just as she finished, she heard four familiar words shouted by the agents on the other side of the fallen lobby.
“Fire in the hole!”
X-Force all glanced at each other before scrambling to fly the hell out of the base. Sunspot powered up and grabbed Jimmy and Shatty by the wrists and rocketed into the air, and Siryn let out a piercing scream as she latched onto Dom under her arms. The merc scowled irritably and began shooting her gun toward the exploding wall and at any bodies forcing their way through to them.
“That’s my line, you assholes!” she yelled, and continued to shoot.
“Dom!” Terry scolded. “I’m tryin’ tah fly us here! Ye cannae twist around and shoot stuff!”
Shatterstar let out a massive blast from his sword from next to them, and proceeded to blow up the base. The older woman perked an eyebrow back up at the redhead and frowned. “But he did it!”
“Aye, sometimes I swear yuir six, Dom.”
The group finally stopped flying well after nightfall. Sam and Terry became extremely exhausted, and rightfully so after hours of directionless flight. A small hotel west of an off ramp had caught their eyes, and the fliers landed on the roof of the two floor building. They gave the two deputy leaders a couple of moments to catch their breath before it was back to playing hide and seek again.
“Okay, so Ric, ‘Star, Terry, and Jimmy I want you guys to scale down the roof and check out the back side of the building. Keep a comm link open. The rest of us will take the front.”
“This place looks pretty deserted,” Roberto pointed out.
“Yes, well, better safe than sorry,” Domino pointed out. “It looks like HYDRA already made their way through here, and if that’s the case then we should probably be okay to hide out here for awhile to rest up.” The older woman cocked her gun and grinned. “And I’ll bet there’s even a kitchen with food up in here.”
“Oh don’t even go there!” Rictor exclaimed gleefully and jumped to his feet. “Let’s get down there now!”
Terry snorted. “Says the one who refused tah eat for the past week.”
“Oh man, imagine if they have burgers!?” the Mexican continued and grinned happily. “Or sandwiches! Or maybe they’ll even have cake!”
“Or pizza!” Shatterstar chimed in.
“Or spaghetti,” Jimmy rubbed his stomach.
“Okay horses,” Domino rolled her eyes. “Security checks first, mow-down time after, capiche?”
“Understood,” Shatterstar unsheathed his sword. “Shall we proceed?”
“Let’s,” the merc nodded. “Sam, Bobby, you two are with me.”
The blonde peered over to his best friend, and the boys nodded at each other. It was not a long way down from the roof, but Roberto did the polite thing and scooped Domino up to fly her to ground below. Sam propelled himself down as well, and once on the ground the small squad pressed flat against the brick wall. Not a single sound was heard around the vicinity, but the surrounding parking lot had a few cars in it. Debris lay scattered around the concrete, and Sunspot swallowed loudly when something caught his eye.
“Don’t look now, amigos, but it looks like HYDRA was definitely here,” he pointed his finger to their right. “We got bodies.”
They peered around a pillar and frowned at the sight of two men laying broken and so obviously shot to death in the snow. It looked like they had been fleeing.
“Stay powered up, both of you,” Dom whispered and went for a second pistol in her belt. The group inched their way across the front sidewalk and crossed the parking lot to the front entrance of the building. Two glass doors encased the lobby, but both were wide open. Roberto also noted that all of the lights were off.
“There isn’t enough solar energy for me to produce a good amount of light,” he told Domino. “There’s just enough in the night for me to power up.”
The woman sighed and poked her head into the building. “Power down then. It’s black in there, and I’d rather be able to see to be honest. Sam, you keep an eye on him and expand your blast field on us if you see anything.”
“Just stick close,” the Kentuckian muttered.
The front lobby and check-in desk were both in shambles. Another body was on the floor behind the counter, and the floor was full of glass. Roberto and Sam worked on closing the entrance doors before the Brazilian tiredly summoned enough energy to light his fists. A dull orange glow illuminated the hallway, and he had to bite back a gag.
“There’s so much blood,” he muttered.
“And just one body,” Domino replied. “Whoever the hell did this was sure looking to make a mess, that’s for sure.”
“There can’t be that many people here,” Sam pointed out. “We’re in the middle of nowhere.”
“True,” the older woman mumbled, and poked her head around another corner. “There’s a hallway here. Looks like it goes straight down to the backside. My guess is we have just a square shaped building, two floors, and maybe a courtyard or pool in the middle?”
Sam nodded. “Looks like it.”
The group silently made their way down the hall, being sure to open every room on the way. Some had been previously occupied, but thankfully there were no bodies inside, just belongings and messy beds that had been abandoned. Most of the rooms, however, were completely cleaned and untouched. Brand new sheets covered queen sized beds, televisions were turned off, and air freshener scented the room.
Like predicted, the middle of the building was an indoor pool and lounge area that was accessible from all four halls. The kitchen – a little messy, but abandoned – was located with the laundry room, the staff room, and the vending machines in the back hallway. And when they reached the third hall on the main floor, Sam happily pointed out a fuse box.
“Maybe we can get some light in here,” he muttered.
Domino scanned over the case and shook her head. “This is all brand new stuff, and I’m not an electrician. We may have to wait for ‘Star…”
“You hear that?” Roberto turned and glanced down the hall. “I thought I heard something--”
Domino placed a finger against her lips. “Dull that light down.”
The Brazilian did as he was told, giving off just enough light for them to see a foot or two in front of their faces. The squad silently inched their way toward the corner of the corridor where the still unsearched fourth hall joined. Roberto could feel his heart jumping around in his chest like a jack rabbit, and he had to do everything he could to not breathe too loudly.
Domino led the way and pressed herself flat against the wall. Another shoe squeak was heard directly around the corner and the merc lifted her weapon. She glanced back at the boys and mouthed ‘on three’. Holding up her fingers she counted down three…two…one…
“Stop where you are!” Domino screamed and jumped out into the next hallway. Sam blasted behind her and they were all met with a series of startled screams. Roberto lit up his fist again, and was relieved to see a pile of his friends on the floor having fallen at the sudden scare. “You fucking idiots!” Dom yelled at them. “I could’ve shot you!”
Rictor, Terry, and Jimmy literally burst out laughing from the ground, and Shatty had a tiny amused smile of his own from where he stood above them. A few moments later, Sam started chuckling as well, and Roberto joined in when he could not hold back any longer. For the first time in two weeks the group found themselves laughing so much that they cried, and Domino just stood in the middle of them all looking absolutely annoyed.
“Oh, c'mon!” Terry grinned and tugged on the merc’s uniform pants. “Ye have tah admit that was funny.”
“What that you guys were actually dumb enough to be running around in the dark, or that you’re that bad at security checks that you had to sound like a herd of elephants!?” she snapped, and raked a hand through her hair. “You’re lucky we weren’t HYDRA! Your asses would have been dead! Hell, Cable would be so pissed right now…”
Shatty rolled his eyes as the others continued to laugh. “I would not have let those fools attack.”
Dom put her gun away and pinched the bridge of her nose. Roberto could tell she was trying her hardest to look annoyed, but the amused twinkle in her eye spoke otherwise. “Please tell me you guys at least checked upstairs?”
“All clear, boss,” Ric replied and ran a hand through his messed hair. “Got a couple of security guards up there though; both were dead.”
“Yeah we found two outside, and one at the front desk,” Sam muttered, going back to his concerned leader mode. “But everythin’ else was clear.”
Domino nodded. “All right then. Shatty, I want you and Jimmy to take a look at the panel down the hall; see if you can get some power in this place. Bobby and Sam can take a look around for some food. Terry and Ric…try and find yourselves something to wear. I’m sick of looking at your asses.”
The redhead nodded and pulled the Mexican up from the ground by the hand. “Where do ye want tah meet back?”
She nodded toward the pool area. “Go to the lounge in about half an hour. I’m going to see if I can find a computer with some ‘net access around here. Maybe I can find an update on the invasion status back home. We’ll have a small briefing and then I want you guys to shower and rest up.”
Sam gestured for Bobby to follow him to the kitchen, and the team quickly split up. The prospect of a full stomach and a hot bath was much too good for them to wait for.
Go to chapter eleven.