DOMINO: Page 3 of 5

Publication Date: 28th Sep 2012
Written By: Monolith.


After checking in with an old friend (coincidentally, the same neuro-scientist she rescued from El Salvador during the Jericho mission), Domino learned the implant had grafted itself to her spine. Any surgical effort to remove it had a high risk of leaving her permanently paralyzed. [X-Force (1st series) #71]

After foiling a bank robbery, but taking a bullet in the process, Domino decided she needed to get back into the mercenary game to test her skills and learn her new limitations better. [X-Force (1st series) #72-73, 76] Doing a few jobs helped her find both her center and her confidence. Following this, Domino attempted to reconnect with Cable, after they ended things so abruptly during OZT. Nathan had changed during this short time apart and was now living among the people in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. As he was seeking a new direction for his life, Domino and Cable weren’t sure it was something she could be a part of. Some harsh words were exchanged and Domino stormed off, only to be confronted by a hitman named Blockade who beat her senseless. Although Cable got her to the hospital and took revenge on Blockade for her, Domino left the ER before he returned and the two of them remained unreconciled. [Cable (1st series) #55-56]

While still in New York, Domino was approached out of the blue by a young man named Jesse Aaronson, who offered her intel on Ekatarina Gryaznova. Jesse wanted to trade Domino the information in exchange for her services in locating his missing brother,and Domino agreed. He led her to the Aguilar Institute on the Oregon-California border, but there they were attacked by Phaeton armored security. Domino was captured and brought before Gryaznova, who had mutated horribly since last they met. Bastion had learned Ekatarina was working on her own agenda and turned the Prime Sentinel’s nanotechnology against her.  

Now calling herself the Gryphon, Gryaznova was re-engineered into a genetically-enhanced predator by her formerly secret employers, the Damocles Foundation. Before Gryphon could enact further revenge on Domino, Jesse returned with the assistance of X-Force and freed Domino from her cell. Hearing about her implant, Jesse used his bio-electrical disruptor powers to shut it down, fully restoring Domino’s powers and reaction time. Back in the game, Domino struck out at Gryphon and defeated her nemesis before they all escaped the building’s self-destruct sequence. Regrouping with X-Force in their new home in San Francisco, California, Domino began to live and work with her former teammates again full time. [X-Force (1st series) #82]

Domino lived up to her promise to Jesse, who began living with her and X-Force while waiting for word on his brother. Jesse’s brother Christopher had disappeared into foster care after their parents died in a car crash, or so Jesse believed. Domino managed to uncover a lead that Jesse’s unassuming parents were actually analysts for the National Security Department. She and Jesse went to speak to his parents’ old supervisor, Dabney Saunders, only to find him reduced to a babbling incoherent at a retirement home. Nevertheless, Domino noticed an overly attentive orderly, and found him reporting on their visit to a mysterious third party. With some gentle persuasion, Domino convinced the orderly to provide them with the address of his employer, who turned out to be Christopher Aaronson. [X-Force (1st series) #87]

Christopher had been busy since Jesse last saw him, establishing himself as King Bedlam, leader of a mutant supremacist group known as the Hellions. Domino was taken prisoner and forced to exchange bodies with one of the Hellions known as Switch. By the time she freed herself, King Bedlam had already invited X-Force to his winery under false pretenses. Domino forced Switch to change them back and X-Force gathered to oppose Christopher and his plans. King Bedlam intended to hold the country hostage using a walking natural disaster known as the Armageddon Man, but Domino and her teammates managed to put the kibosh on his plot, and Jesse chose to side with X-Force against his brother. [X-Force (1st series) #88-90]

Not long after the Hellions affair, Domino was snatched out of San Francisco and transported to a citadel outside of normal reality by a time-traveler from 2099 named Halloween Jack. During his study of the history vids of his era, Jack became obsessed with Domino and developed a stalker-like fixation on her and her life. Domino was confronted by Halloween Jack in various guises thanks to his shape-changing abilities, as he tried to convince her to remain with him in his citadel for all time. He even confronted her with her own death, set to take place in the near future. Despite his warnings, however, Domino decided to take her chances. She damaged the Chaos Engine that maintained his citadel and forced Jack to transport the both of them back into the present. [X-Force (1st series) #91-92]

A few weeks later, X-Force was caught completely off guard when the High Evolutionary set off a mutation-neutralization network of satellites around the globe, forcibly reverting the X-gene in mutantkind and making them normal. [X-Force (1st series) #101]

Domino saw how helpless X-Force became during the attack, and instituted a far more rigorous training program for the team in unarmed combat. Unknown to Domino, Sam Guthrie had his own ideas about X-Force’s future. He invited former spook Pete Wisdom to San Francisco and they propositioned the team with a new mission of going after the intelligence community’s dirty little secrets, eliminating threats to man and mutant that didn’t officially exist. Most of the team agreed to Wisdom’s proposal, but Domino refused to get involved with their crusade and they left. [X-Force (1st series) #106]

Before she could fully process what had happened, Domino was possessed by one of the Undying. These alien energy beings played games of murder for millions of years by using host bodies as puppets. Cable was caught in a feud between two Undying named Aentaros and Semijan. In order to kill Semijan’s host, Randall Shire, Aentaros possessed Domino to use her skills for the assassination. Her connection with Cable would also make him pause, for the Undying only abandoned host bodies at the moment of death. Nonetheless, Cable managed to prevent the assassination by trapping Domino in a set of force field tentacles, preventing her from moving at all to kill herself or others. He then tracked down the Undying’s original starship and arranged for the energy beings to be permanently transferred into cockroaches, freeing Domino from Aentaros’s control. [Cable (1st series) #82-84]

X-Force’s trail had gone cold during her time possessed by Aentaros. At loose ends, Domino returned to doing freelance mercenary work to pass the time. After taking down a group of terrorists in Switzerland, Domino found herself targeted by Marcus Tsung, a man with the mutant gene for murder. An infamous “ghost” in the world of international assassins, Tsung was ruthless and all but infallible in his trade. Domino only survived his first assault because another merc happened to pass between her and Tsung’s trademark “virtual bullets.” Realizing she was out of her league, Domino fled the country and did her best to cover her tracks and hide her identity. In Paris, she learned how fruitless her efforts were when one of Tsung’s “virtual bullets” blew a fist-sized hole in her spine on the street, killing her instantly. [X-Force (1st series) #106-108]

Not long after that, Domino awoke to find herself on the autopsy table, just before the medical examiner started his cut. Her miraculous resurrection provided Domino with the first clue of why Tsung was hunting her in the first place. A growth of bio-technological tissue had emerged from the hole in her spine, restoring her to health in the process. Not only that, the bio-tech also rebooted her physiology, wiping clean old scars, wounds and cosmetic changes. Recognizing that this alien symbiotic device was likely Tsung’s real target, Domino reconnected with X-Force in San Francisco at the funeral for Pete Wisdom. They used some of Pete’s contacts to try and dig up some information about the device, but were interrupted when Marcus Tsung found them. X-Force was very nearly killed by Tsung before Pete’s sister Romany Wisdom arrived with a black ops squadron to take down the assassin. Romany clearly knew a great deal about Domino’s device and arranged a surgery to remove the symbiote from Domino before it could take over her conscious mind. Romany’s group kept the bio-tech, and Domino and X-Force were left with far more questions than answers. [X-Force (1st series) #106-109]

Freed from her “rider,” Domino took up Wisdom’s position as X-Force’s advisor and mission coordinator. While investigating Niles Roman and the former American intelligence agency Cuckoo, they discovered more connections to the alien bio-tech within the world of shadow ops. Caught in the explosion of a vibranium bomb when they got too close,  X-Force went underground for several months, letting the world believe them dead. They eventually resurfaced and confronted Romany Wisdom, revealed to be the mastermind behind the bio-tech project. She wanted to infect humanity with xeno-technological symbiotes like the one that attached itself to Domino. These would improve humanity’s overall physique, intelligence and resilience, but it would also incorporate them into a type of hive-mind with the symbiotic bio-tech, ultimately removing free will and making mankind part of a giant living engine. X-Force fought back against Romany when they learned her full plan, and Jesse Bedlam turned his bio-EMP powers on the symbiosis tech that made up Romany’s base of operations, destroying it. Domino made it clear of the resulting blast and reported to the authorities that the rest of X-Force was dead, allowing them to go underground once more. [X-Force (1st series) #110-115]

Back in action as a mercenary, Domino began longing for a connection to her family, something she had avoided for most of her life. With only the vaguest memories of her mother, Dom started taking mercenary jobs to fund her research into her own past. During this period, she worked with a man named Jonathan Shepard, an old pro from her past that she trusted. Shepard’s crippled legs prevented him from doing field work anymore, but he excelled in tactical analysis and ran support for Domino during the missions she performed for him.

A hacker running computer searches on Domino’s mother was able to uncover a single picture to prove she existed – the rest was cleanly and cleverly removed from any and all databases, all but wiping any trace of Domino’s mother from existence. A deeper search uncovered Project: Armageddon itself, but the hacker was killed bringing that data-disc into Domino’s possession. The files told Domino that Project: Armageddon was based around the construction of some “ultimate weapon,” but it didn’t specify what that weapons was. Learning that her mother had once been an employee of the project, Domino used the data-disc to trace Armageddon’s base of operations in the Florida Everglades.

After making her way inside the base, Domino was shocked to discover the ultimate weapon stored by Armageddon was a young boy who looked exactly like her. Seeing how the boy named Lazarus had been experimented on, Domino vowed to get him to safety. Armageddon’s paramilitary soldiers were only one obstacle, however – Domino was followed into the base by a religious order of knights known as the Armajesuits. The Armajesuits believed Lazarus was too dangerous to live, and set Domino up to help them breach Armageddon’s defenses and kill the boy before he was unleashed on the world. Domino was equally surprised to learn the Armajesuit’s leader was her and Lazarus’ mother. Lazarus was placed in cryo-suspension after Beatrice first escaped from Armageddon with Domino decades earlier, preserving him for the future. Beatrice’s own future-sight convinced her that Lazarus was destined to become a great threat to everyone, and she rose in the ranks of the Armajesuits to one day return and slay her own son.

The three-way standoff between Domino, Armageddon and the Armajesuits ended when Lazarus revealed his mutant ability, a powerful emotional manipulation wave that becalmed the combatants and left them in a serene trance. Beatrice and Domino were immune to their kin’s power, however, and Domino shot her mother to prevent her from stabbing Lazarus. After escaping from Armageddon, Domino returned to her youth in Chicago, where she turned Lazarus over to Father Boschelli at the Church of the Sacred Heart, hoping that he could raise the boy the way he once raised her. [Domino (2nd series) #1-4]