by DuAnn Cowart
Standard disclaimers apply.
She opened her eyes and the room swam into focus. The sedative was beginning to wear off, and except for a feeling of complete and utter exhaustion she felt fine. The once debilitating headache was reduced to only phantom traces of pressure, and she breathed a sigh of relief.
Nathan, Betsy and Jean were huddled in a tight circle in a far corner of the lab.They were obviously communicating psionically, and the silence was deafening. They were in wordless debate over something, and the shared look of disdain on Psylocke and Jean's faces made it patently obvious that she wasn't the only woman Nate had pissed off today. She smirked but kept quiet.
Hank bustled around her, checking the various monitoring devices attached to regulate her body functions during the procedure. Without warning, the room began to swim, and she felt a wave of nausea sweep over her body. Suppressing the bile, she tried to call Hank to her bedside but before the before the words came out she saw her reflection in the concave mirror hanging over the stainless steel medical sink. She gagged.
Multi-colored wires and electrodes were attached to her face, chest and arms. Blackness sparkled around the edge of her vision, and all of the darkness, the horror of her past rose up together to claim what little peace she'd created for herself. Memories stirred by the psi-surgery swam to the front of her mind, sparking an instinctive reaction so immediate that her concious mind wasn't even aware of it. Throat constricting and heart hammering within her chest, she bolted upright, disrupting the monitor readings. Hank, seeing the readings spike, spun around to check on her but instead of seeing his handsome visage panic took over and her haunted memory supplied another face.
She ripped the wires off and leaped off the bed, drugs and exhaustion only slightly hampering skills honed by years of battle. She rushed at Hank, screaming obscenities, and leveled a high kick to his jaw. His own reflexes made him jerk back just in time for the blow to only glance off the side of his chin.
She leapt over the examing table, filled with red rage. "You sonuvabitch! What're you doing to me now? I killed you once- I'll kill you again if I have to!" She darted across the room and grabbed a hideously sharp instrument from a nearby counter, slicing her hand in the process. She didn't flinch, merely shifted hands and sprang at Hank, who had fortunately recovered enough from the shock to have moved a safe distance away from its gleaming blade.
Cable crossed the room in an instant, Betsy and Jean only slightly behind him. You should have anticipated this- Idiot! Her damage was so much more severe than mine, and the repairs shook up all kinds of dark memories- Glad I was there to keep 'em from Jean. He snorted Jean, right, keep them from Jean. I was supposed to protect her, dammit! She asked me to, and I couldn't do it! Guilt pricked at him, mingling with fear. It hadn't been easy, reliving the darkness of her memories, but he knew that his uneasiness was nothing next to the terror that she was reliving now.
Domino spun around and narrowed her eyes at Hank. She shifted the surgical knife so that she held it by her fingertips and threw it in one fluid motion. Blade spinning, it sliced through the air in a direct line to Hank's throat.
Her motions were so rapid that Hank barely had time to register them, much less time to dart out of the way. His eyes flew open, but before he had time to move away the knife froze in midair about a foot away from his throat. He gasped once, his whole body sagging. Thank You, sweet Lord, he sent the quick thought upward.
Cable was breathing rapidly, holding a hand to his temple. Barely made it, he sighed in relief. If I hadn't known her so long, known that when she grabbed that knife and wasn't close enough to slash, known that... He didn't want to think about what would have happened. He knew from long experience just how good her aim was. He cursed the fac that it had taken him so long to work up the telekinetic strength to stop her, for the surgeries had weakened him as well. Thankfully, he'd been quick enough to prevent any serious harm.
Pink and purple haloes of energy formed around the respective heads of his companions as she released the knife, but as soon as it left her fingers Domino froze. The disorienting jumble of memories dispersed and the anger fled, leaving a strange clarity in their wake. She lowered her hands and surveyed the room coolly. Seeing her transformation, everyone was standing stock still, though still in defensive postures, she noted. The monitors blared shrill klaxon screams, her makeshift bed was overturned and Hank stood gasping in the corner, a bloodied surgical instrument hanging in the air about a foot from his neck. Betsy and Jean both wore expressions of concern, and Nate- hell, Nate was just staring at her, for once his emotions painfully obvious for all to see.
She raised her hands, bewildered, and scowled "What? What do you people want?" When no one answered, she shrugged. Amused at their stunned expressions, she just glanced at her hand in annoyance and said "Why is my flonquing hand bleeding, Nate?"
To Be Continued...
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