BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! The alarm in Dominick’s room went off. He lifted his head, and squinted toward where the sound came from. The clock read 5:30 AM and sat across the room. Dominick uncovered his legs and walked over to the clock to turn it off. Then, rubbing his eyes, he opened the door, and walked down the hall; following the smell of a delightful breakfast. He managed to finally find the dining area, and a steaming plate of eggs, biscuits & gravy, bacon, and grits sat alone on the table. He looked to the right, and then to the left; no one was there, so he cautiously approached the table, and took a seat. Looking around again, he picked up the fork, and just before he scooped up some eggs, Charles surprised him by popping up in the TV in front of the table. “Good morning Dominick.” Dominick jumped. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.” “Gees. No, it’s alright. You just caught me off guard.”
“I haven’t been able to find out.”
“Oh, well I’ll leave you to it then.”
“No problem.” As Dominick looked around, he noticed Iris wasn’t around. “You know where Iris is?” “Concerned are we?” Charles teased, but Dominick just looked at him funny. “She’s preparing for the mission in the preparation room.”
“And where’s that?” Dominick asked, taking a bite of the biscuit.
“You go through the door, turn right, and down the hall. You’ll hear where to go from there.”
“Hmm. This is good. You make this?”
“No sir. Mistress Iris deserves the credit for this meal.”
After they continued chatting, and Dominick finished his meal, they both went down to find Iris. Charles was right; you could hear where to go once you hit the end of the hall. “What is she doing?” Dominick asked. “Oh, just her usual procedures. I would caution you though; don’t ever get in her way once the mission is under way. She focuses so much that, if she’s not careful, she’ll end up wounding, or even killing, someone she’s working with. She gets pretty violent when she concentrates hard enough, and her adrenaline gets going.” Dominick looked forward again, but had a questioned look on his face. “You’ll see what I mean when we get in there.” And again, he was right.
When they opened the door, something that looked like a buzz saw blade mixed with a ninja star struck the wall, right beside Dominick’s head. “Whoa!” Iris turned. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were there.” She said, approaching them. “No, it’s cool.” Dominick said, turning away from the blade to face her. “Enjoy breakfast?” she asked, hooking her arm around his shoulder. “Yes, I did. Thank you.” “You’re welcome. Now,” she patted his chest, and stepped back down as she addressed Charles, “Charles, get him properly suited. I want to make sure he’s ready.” “Yes mistress. You’re gonna have fun with that.” Charles whispered as he led him to a little changing area. “Take your pick, but I have a pretty good idea on which you’ll pick.” Dominick entered, and looked down the wall of different suits. The one that hung 3rd to last caught his eye. “Oh, ho. That one.” He pointed to it, and Charles looked down towards it. “Yup. I thought so. Well go ahead and change. I’ll be out here.” Charles started to move, but Dominick’s hand stopped him short. “Wait a sec. Did you make that for me, or did Iris?” “We both did. She provided me with the measurements, and a sketch, and I made it real.” “Huh.” Dominick shrugged, and then went along his business.
“Did he pick it?” Iris asked. “No, he picked the yellow one. Yes, he picked it. I owe you 15 virtual dollars.” Iris did a small fist pump, and waited with Charles as Dominick changed, but they didn’t wait long. He came out, and the suit distinguished his body very well. Then, with him pushing the spaces between his fingers, he said, “So are we gonna do this?” Iris kind of dropped her jaw in admiration, and then looked at him slyly. “Well I guess I’ll bow out for now. Enjoy.” Charles said, rolling through the dirt to get back the door. Dominick stepped down as he passed him, still gazing at Iris. As he got to be three feet in front of her, he stopped, and Iris began. “Lesson one. Always be on your guard.” She then quickly went to strike, but Dominick caught her arm. “Good.” She pulled her arm out of his grip, and then dropped to the ground, and swung out her leg, causing him to fall. “Never underestimate your opponent.” Iris then said, standing over him, and holding out her hand. He hesitated for a moment, but then grabbed it. Immediately, Iris went behind him with his hand still in hand, and forced him down. This knocked some air out of him, but then he began to realize what she was doing. “You beginning to understand now?” Again, he hesitated, but he answered as he let out an extended breath. “Yah. I think so.” “Good.” She replied, and let him up, but what happened next, she did not expect. As she walked around to get in front of him, he threw out his arm, and tripped her. She hit the ground with a thud, but caught herself enough that she wasn’t breathless. He got up, and lent her his hand. She just stared at him, and shook her head as she popped up, making Dominick back off, and put his defense back on. “Lesson two; never show any sign of sympathy or weakness. Your opponent will see it, and then use it to their advantage.” Iris then used her speed ability to strike at him, and got back quickly. He held his arm, not expecting her to punch him like that. “Okay.” He said, nodding. “Let me guess. You’ll also need to adapt to your opponent’s techniques.” She quickly raised her eyebrows, and then quickly put them back down. Then Dominick straightened, and took his position. Iris mischievously smiled, and continued the fight. Dominick figured things out from there.
As Iris once again pinned him, she said, “Believe it or not, I’m actually going easy on you.” “Oh, I believe you.” Dominick replied as he twisted her arms, and put her in the position he was just in. “But so am I.” “You’re learning.” Iris said, glad he was a quick learner. Then she put her foot up on a rock that sat against the wall, and walked up and over him; but Dominick being smarter, he turned and faced her head on. “Hmm.” The practice battle continued, and they kept track of points with each pin or wipe out. Forty-five minutes passed before the time occurred to Iris. As she took her final stand, she grabbed two shortened samurai swords and held one above her head, and the other at her mid torso; each facing opposite directions. Dominick stopped, out of breath, and remained still. Also out of breath, she lowered the swords and stood straight as she put both of them into one hand. “You’re ready.” She said, swallowing, and dropping the swords; they stuck into the ground, and stood straight as she walked away. Dominick sighed in relief, and shortly followed.
After they showered, the two of them met Charles in the display room. He greeted them with a smile, and Iris finished squeezing the water out of her hair into the towel she held. Dominick laughed, and she turned. “Hey. Be glad you don’t have hair. It’s a pain to deal with.” Charles then cut in. “Shall we?” he asked referring to the unveiling of each of their suits. Iris nodded, and he took it from there. “Sir Dominick and Mistress Iris, I proudly present to you the fine art of your imagery and preciseness. Behold…your final combat suits!” He turned to look at the suits, and the white sheets that covered them flew up, revealing the magnificent works of art. Iris only briefly looked at hers because Dominick’s caught her eyes. His stood tall and broad, like hers, but his wings were huge and darkened with the color of night. Darkened dandelion yellow stripes went down either side, like a seam, and added a sort of class to it. The suit itself looked like Charles had molded Dominick’s upper body and legs, therefore revealing the toned muscle features Dominick possessed. “Dog that is the sickest get up I’ve ever seen.” Charles was silent and confused. “You did good,” Dominick said, clearing the air. “Oh. Thank you.” Iris stood silent, and amazed that he was able to accomplish what he did. “Mistress?” Charles got her attention, and she faced him. “It’s beautiful. Thank you, Charles.” Iris wanted to give him a hug, but Charles didn’t have the right body to do that with. Yet.
“Well, let’s get this done.” Iris said, going up the stairs to approach her suit. Dominick just smiled, and did the same. They slipped the suits over the slim wear that was designed to help reduce irritation, and then slipped on the suits. As Dominick finished, and adjusted a couple things, Iris started in amazement. He looked good in it, and for some reason Iris couldn’t identify what it was, but he looked both natural, and familiar now that he had wings of his own. Charles saw this, and got her to focus again. “Ahem.” He coughed quietly. She quickly turned, and went back to messing with her own suit, and finished by the time Dominick spoke again. “You ready?” he asked fastening the belt. Iris looked up, also finishing, and nodded. Then they both looked to Charles, and he opened the roof line so they would clear out of there with ease.
“Thank you, Charles. We’ll be back soon.” Charles nodded, but stopped them to say one last thing. “And mistress.” She stopped, and looked back down at him. He swallowed, and then said, “Be careful.” She cocked her head, and then put her wings behind her as she walked down to him. Once she reached him, she kissed his cheek, and held the side of the screen. “We will.” She said with a tender, loving look in her eyes. Then she turned and went back up on the platform; Charles was happy, and felt better.
As Iris took lift off, Dominick looked down at Charles, and gave him a wink. Charles just playfully rolled his eyes and smirked, shaking his head. Then Dominick spread his wings to their fullest, and with one giant flap, he soared through the opening, beating Iris to maximum height. “Good luck.” Charles then said to himself, but meaning to direct it towards them.
So the two of them flew through the early morning fog and headed for the city; kind of playing/racing with one another along the way. Iris looked at him again, and stared for a moment. “You know something?” “What?”
“You look awful familiar now that you have wings.” Dominick started to worry, but then what she said next relieved him. “But it must just be the wings.” “Well, I’d shake it off quick, because 1, you’re about to run into a tree,” she looked forward, and just missed it as she banked left. “You could’ve warned me sooner.”
“And two, we’re almost there.”
With that, their playing ended, and Iris put it in her mind that it was mission impossible time. Dominick’s friends waited at the side of the road for their cue. Seeing them, Dominick put on an ear piece on, and called his friend again. “Yo.” “Hey, it’s time. Do your thing.” Dominick told him, and his friend nodded, and hung up. “Alright people, it’s time. Take your positions, and be careful. We don’t want to let our man down.”
Iris and Dominick quickly flew behind a hedge that sat just across from where they needed to enter. His friend saw them, and breathed out of his mouth. “Ok. Here we go.” Dominick popped his eyes over the top edge, and looked to see what his friend had planned to pull off. To his surprise, they were dressed as construction workers, and had blocked off the road. He stood, but they didn’t notice, and he saw that they went full out. Hard hats, safety cones, Road Closed signs, and Construction Work Ahead signs placed at the end of either side of the street. Then he saw another movement in the corner of his eye. He ducked down, and looked to see who it was. “Just a civilian walking their dog. Should we remove them?” someone asked on a walkie. “Negative. Let them pass. Our man is hidden well enough for them not to notice.” “Yes, but what about the dog?” Silence fell between the two who spoke, and then the second respondent answered. “Right. Attention west side block. We’ve got a 42 40. Female around mid-twenties walking her canine along the west walkway. Please divert, repeat, divert.” Just then, two other women dressed in construction wear approached her. “Excuse me ma’am.” The woman turned, and stopped walking. “I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to take another route this morning.” “Whatever for? I see no harm in passing construction.”
“Yes, but when we start drilling in a minute, fragments of concrete and asphalt may inflict injuries on passing persons.”
“I think I’m fine going the way I am.”
“Ma’am, I ask again, go the other way, or you can be seriously injured. There has been a history of people getting flakes of the road embedded into their skulls, and causing brain damage.” The woman was silent, and judging by the looks the black women in front of her, she sought it to be true. So…she turned back, and gently tugged on the leash so the dog would follow her. “42 40 cleared. Proceed with operation Distraction.” Dominick laughed, and looked at Iris. “These guys, I tell ya.” Iris said not a word, and seemed to be fixed on another incoming person. It was Genievo. “My man. Do we take this one out?” Dominick pressed on the ear piece with his index and middle finger, and said, “No. Repeat negative on take out. This one’s ours.” “You da man.” They watched silently as Genievo entered the building, and gave him time to get all the way up, and situated.
After a few minutes, Dom gave the signal to keep a look out for other incoming people, and they went for the air shaft. They made it across okay, but the air shaft cover had a hard time moving; at least…when Iris was doing it. “Here,” Dominick said, scooting Iris over and grabbing the vent. His arms flexed big time as he struggled to pull it out, but with a few jerks, he managed to get it open. Iris then quickly scurried in, and Dom said that they were in, and went in himself, and gently braced the vent back so it wouldn’t look suspicious. “Kind of a tight fit, don’t you think?” he asked. Iris just looked back. “Well if your wings weren’t so big, you’d fit better.” She whispered. Dom just stood there (on his hands and knees) and pondered that for a minute, and Iris continued crawling. He soon followed, and tried his best to keep his wings curled in so he had a clear shot until they reached an up draft.
They crawled on all fours like a beast on the hunt for 5 minutes of twists and turns before they reached a spot where they could stand. Iris waited as Dom got situated, and then asked, “You ready?” “As I’ll ever be,” he replied, and she shot up like a rocket. Dom did the same, and they reached the top in no time at all. Iris extended her claws just before they hit the top, and put out her wings so she would slow just enough that there wouldn’t be a bang. As she did so, it was almost like she gently jumped, and lightly grabbed the sides of the walls. Or more like poked through them so she could stay put. Dominick did the same, minus sticking to the walls. He managed to wedge himself with his hands and feet until he could slowly make his way to the level shaft so he could crawl again. Iris gave him the look that said to continue slowly, and they did, without making a sound.
As they approached the end of the vent, and saw Genievo’s office, they stopped, and waited until the most opportune moment. Iris breathed through her mouth as quietly as she could, but Dom remained calm, and breathed normally. Seeing that she was nervous, he tapped her arm and asked if she was okay using sign language. She nodded, and then jerked her head back forward as she heard a door close, and footsteps. “Aw, Mrs. P. What have we got here?” “Your morning coffee, straight black, and the progress report of this last week.”
“Thank you.” Mrs. P. took her leave, and they heard Genievo pick up the papers. Both of them knew right then that it was time. Iris drew a breath, and then closed her eyes.
Genievo stopped sipping his coffee, and felt that something wasn’t right. Setting it down, he sat up, and looked around the room.
Iris opened her eyes, and then burst through the vent, causing an awful ruckus, and Genievo to stand. Once he realized who it was, he smirked, and almost laughed. “Well-el, if it isn’t my old friend Iris Loganna. I hadn’t expected you to come so soon. Welcome. Do sit down.” But Iris was too smart for that, and remained in her defensive position. Genievo shrugged, and retook his place in his chair. “Suit yourself. And who, may I ask is this?” “That’s none of your concern.” Iris snapped. Genievo spread his hands, and then put them back together. “I suppose you’ve come to kill me then, is that correct?” Neither of them responded. “Very well.” He said right before he burst into the ugly beast, and lunged at the both of them. They split, and made him run into the wall; creating quite a dent. Shaking his head to get the rubble off, he turned quickly and stared at them for a moment. Iris had put her wings up in a threatening way, and had drawn out the exact same swords she used while training Dom from sheaths in the legs of her suit. Then Genievo growled and clutched the floor. He sprung again, but this time, he curved out as Iris did, and tackled her. Surprised, Iris didn’t have enough time to react, and just kind of hugged him as she was forced back. Dominick, however, saw this coming, and he had jumped on his back, trying to divert his attack.
Genievo turned his head back, and tried to get him off, but Dom was too quick. Then Genievo raised his head, and intentionally fell backwards, into the wall, crushing Dominick. Dom pushed as hard as he could to get him off, but as Iris ran at Genievo, he moved to strike at her. She jumped, and stabbed his right shoulder as he fell. With him shrieking, she knew it was a tender spot, and pressed harder. Genievo stopped shrieking, and pulled her off, flinging her across the room. He trotted over to where neither of them could get him without running, and pulled out the small sword that fit like a small cane in his large, oversized hand. As he threw it to the side, Dominick went for another go, and ended up sliding underneath him, and popped up behind him. With a slivered timber in hand, he stabbed Genievo’s calf, and he shrieked, but not for as long as when Iris got him. All Dom got in return was a back hand to the head. Now it was getting serious, and Dom’s adrenaline started pumping like never before. He gritted his teeth, and then leapt into the air. Iris had already grabbed Genievo’s attention, and was fighting him as Dom made his air attack.
The two of them quickly switched places, but Genievo had grabbed Iris as she was still making her way up, and threw her as hard as he could into the file cabinet. Dom turned to see the damage, but accidentally allowed Genievo to see his weak spot. Genievo glanced at Dominick, and saw where he was looking. He smirked, and then punched Dominick’s stomach, but he stood his ground, and stayed put. Then Genievo started to snarl, and Dominick knew too well what he was about to do next. He got between him and Iris, and Genievo stopped, acting to be confused. Iris squinted and saw what was going on, and gently pushed the upper half of her body up. Then Genievo roared, and Dom put his arms down, “No!” he cried as he flexed, but he didn’t just flex.
As fire spewed out of Genievo’s mouth, a light blue light came from Dom, and it enclosed both him and Iris. It was a force field. It was then that Iris began to understand. She did know Dominick. The girl he said was Jessica was her sister, and they had been friends up to the day of the attack that almost killed her. That’s why he looked both familiar and natural when he wore the suit. That’s why she had a feeling she knew him and kept him alive when they met at the warehouse. “Of course.” She thought. Still holding the force field, Dom looked up, and his eyes had turned a very silver, bluish-white color with no pupils that were visible. Genievo stopped, seeing it was no longer any use and laughed, finally realizing who Dom really was. “Well do my eyes deceive me? It can’t be the mighty captain of the war all those years ago. Not general Alex Taylor.” Dom let down the force field, and slightly tilted his head up. “And I do not deny it. I do have to correct you though. My name is Dominick Jay Lander. And I’ve only heard too much to know who you are.” “Have you now?” Dom stayed silent, and as Genievo took another lunge at him, he whipped out his very large, very thick saber-tooth claws, and dug them into Genievo’s back as he continued forward.
At this, Genievo screamed in anguish, and curled up in a corner as he jerked to and fro as he turned back into his human form. Dom turned, and watched as the final stage of him turning human again ended. Genievo gasped for air as it all finished, and heaved heavily as he turned to return Dom’s glare. But he laughed. “Now I know it’s you Alex. No one on this pathetic planet has the gifts you do, nor can they turn me back the way you just did.” He yanked his head up as a very sharp pain shot up his spine. Dom looked at Genievo’s back, and saw that he was bleeding badly. “Well it serves you right considering all the lives you took since the time of the early Renaissance.” “Ha! Ha, ha, ha. You still don’t get it, do you? You can’t kill me. I’m not mortal.” Dom noticed that Genievo started to steam black. “I’m not who you think I am anymore.” Iris stood, and backed up, knowing what he was about to do. Just as she grabbed Dom’s arm and pulled him away, Genievo sputtered into flame, and shadow, but the flame wasn’t fire. Then spikes shot out from his body, and Iris used her wing to block them from hitting either of them. Genievo laughed again, and put his fore arms out as if he were receiving something, but as he spoke, his voice sounded like nothing either one of them had heard from Earth’s languages. It was dark, very gruff, and rather scary. In Iris’ mind, it sounded like something she heard in the movie “Ghost Rider”.
“You should know by now, Alex, that I have more power than you ever will. I cannot die because I am not any sort of being. Nothing, no one, no creature that’s bred on this planet can stop me.” Then Dom had an idea, but it was going to be dangerous. He pushed Iris’ wings up so he could get through, and jumped at him, but he shot more spikes, and some hit his chest and left arm. Nevertheless, Dom got close enough to where he could strike his heart, and grab his throat. Iris, both scared and furious grabbed Dom’s shoulder and pulled him back before Genievo stuck his hand into his stomach. Instead, Iris took his place, and stopped short in shock. “Iris!” Dom cried as it happened, and then Genievo raised his other hand, palm out and fingers tilted, and shot more spikes at him, but he put his arms up, and made a small field to use as a shield. Genievo then began to lift Iris, and this made her pain all the worse, but she had no voice to express it. Dom wouldn’t tolerate this though, so he walked forward until he got close enough to break Genievo’s spine into three different pieces, and stab his heart with the sword he had thrown aside earlier.
Now Genievo gasped, and released Iris, fingering the helm before he sunk to his knees and disintegrated. As Dom watched his long fought enemy fall, he let out a sigh of a burden being lifted. Then he looked at Iris, who had fallen on her back, and held her stomach as she trembled. He rushed to her side, and removed her hand to see just how bad the wound was. As he did though, he had to turn away, and close his eyes. He set her hand back, looked into her fading eyes, and grabbed her up so she was kind of in his lap. “Dominick?” she managed to ask. “Yah, it’s me. I’m here.” “Why didn’t I see it before? You were the one who dated my sister. The girl who you said was Jessica.” Dom nodded, and started to get concerned about her condition. “Come on. I’m taking you home.” He told her picking her up the rest of the way. He knew that they couldn’t go back the way they came, or the main way, so he looked at the window and it shattered.
His friends who were still outside jolted, and looked up as Dom flew out the window, and headed for the woods. “I guess he did it.” The phone buzzed. “That you Dom?” “Yah, it’s me. Hey, I need you to dress as an executive, and tell the people who work there that their newspaper will be discontinued, and their building demolished to open up park space.”
“You mean for cars?”
“No, I mean like the park. A little garden area with a fountain or something so the city doesn’t look like it’s completely urban. You got it?”
“Yah I got it. Where you off to in such a hurry?”
“Iris is hurt, so I’m taking her back to her house. She has stuff there that our doctors don’t even know about yet.”
“Ooo, what about the cure for cancer?”
“Probably, but just do what I asked okay? It’s important.”
“You got it. Take care man.”
“Alright people, wrap it up! Time to go home! Oh, hey, can I get the two lovely ladies who dealt with the 42 40 to come over here please?”