Dom frowned, glaring at the screen before him. No one said reversing a brainwashed victim was easy… but it should not be this hard to crack this egg. Already he had lost a few days worth of sleep. Much like D00m, Dom was relying on coffee, tea, and every so often, an energy drink. He would catch a few hours rest here and there when he needed to stretch or close his eyes because he was so exhausted he could barely keep his eyes open.
None of the programming was going right. His current victim was a friend of Minari’s that they desperately needed to help. This woman happened to be the princess’s lady in waiting that was a very close friend. She had tried to escape with her mistress, but unfortunately she was captured and sacrificed her wellbeing in order to protect the last member of the royal family.
“Mizzy? Can you hear me?” Dom asked, watching the woman’s face for any sign of response. Her eyes remained staring straight ahead; face as blank as a plain piece of paper. Running his hand through his hair, he sat back on his stool and glanced at the current screen of his laptop. The programming so far was getting tougher and tougher. All this was much more advanced than what he ever knew.
First he had to figure out how they were all brain washed. Next there was the whole issue of reversing it but still keeping them as the same person they were before. This meant unlocking possibly suppressed memories and traits that made them, them. Of course now, he was trying to make sure the programming and the device to reverse everything worked properly. Right now, his prototype was not showing any signs of producing much effect. Hitting his head on his desk, Dom sighed.
Turning to look at his current subject, he groaned. A plate of food was set into his line of vision on his workbench by Sola, who had been watching him for the past four hours. Over the past six days however, she had observed this crash occur once every twelve or so hours. This was of course how she knew he needed food and maybe a bit of sleep. With a low blood sugar, Dom was not too coherent. Sitting up, he took a bite of the sandwich she prepared for him, and continued staring at his subject. Mizzy still showed no reaction whatsoever.
Taking a long drink of the cup of tea she brought him, he set the half empty mug down and turned his eyes back to the screen. Scanning the large amounts of information, he readjusted a few of the numbers and then dug around in one of the boxes he had received from Hadrian. They had all come just as he asked, and right on time too. Pulling out a smaller box, he opened it to reveal several tiny items, and one large carefully sealed package. Setting the package aside, he took out an individually wrapped thing and ripped it open. Taking the headset from Mizzy’s head, he quickly took the earphones apart and started to adjust them so that the two smaller items fit neatly inside.
Flicking a switch, the machine whirred to life and a thin red beam connected the earphones. Putting his finger and then his hand between the two, he could see that they still connected despite being separated. Replacing the headset back on her head—after turning it off—he then turned it on and triple checked that the program now used the new items. Typing on his laptop, he waited as the machine loaded the new data. Reaching up he waved his hand before her face a few times before finally the girl blinked. Dom’s eyes widened seeing this response; it was a good sign.
Sola rushed over, seeing that Dom might have just cracked the egg and solved their problems. She stood behind him, observing how Mizzy was slowly coming to and responding to outer stimuli. After blinking a few more times, she turned her head, looking around at her new surroundings.
“Sola, get Minari and Ane on the phone and tell them to get over here,” he said a huge grin on his face. Clearing his throat, he drew her attention to him. “Mizzy? Do you know what day it is?” She stared at him for several moments before lunging at him.
“Where is Her Highness?! What did you do with her?!” She shouted, grabbing Dom by the collar and holding him tightly. Sola was already making the phone call when she looked over to see Dom getting strangled by this newcomer. It was hard for her to stifle her giggle. After speaking briefly to them, she hung up and approached.
“W-Whoa! Hold it! I’m helping Princess Minari. She’s fine and safe,” he said, as she finally released him. Tugging on his shirt to straighten it, he wiped his forehead and sighed.
“You… helped her,” she said, sitting back and processing the information. It was probably quite a lot to take in, as she sure hadn’t been responding to anything up until now.
“Yes. She’s perfectly safe, and is on her way right now,” Sola added. “Come on; let me get you some food. I’m sure you’re hungry.” Pausing for a moment, she thought and nodded.
“I am indeed famished,” she said, heading for the kitchen. Sola grinned, hugging Dom.
“I knew you could do it. Now, to get to the others,” she said, releasing him and heading after Mizzy to the kitchen. Dom blushed furiously, very taken aback by the sudden hug. Setting aside the reverser onto a different workbench, he then pulled out some of the armor and guns that Hadrian had sent over. Examining them, he then grabbed his blowtorch and mask and got to work. He was trying to hide his blush behind the mask, which was even more obvious that he was incredibly embarrassed.
Minari and Ane arrived shortly after Mizzy was chomping down on a large sandwich and some soup. She looked up and immediately stood and bowed to her princess. Beaming at her friend, Minari rushed over and hugged Mizzy.
“I’m so glad you’re safe, Your Highness,” she said as they embraced for several moments. Pulling away, Minari sat down next to Mizzy.
“It is more important that you are well and here again. I am glad Dom was able to reverse everything,” Minari said, glancing over at where he was currently welding some items together.
“As am I, my lady. But why is it we aren’t in the castle? I thought the palace guards were able to maintain the keep,” she said, looking at Minari.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to. You helped me escape to Ane, but you were captured and harmed. We then found you and brought you here,” Minari explained.
“How long has it been?”
“Six weeks. Nearly two months,” she said, shaking her head. It was unbelievable to think that just one and a half months ago, she was sitting in her castle tending to the needs of the people… or at least working on those items on her “To-Do list.” Mizzy seemed very exhausted as all this information was hitting her like a brick to the head.
“What more is there for us to do, my lady?”
“Right now, we’re taking care of people like you that were brain washed. If we can do that much, we could possibly gather more people to bring down the government and put a new one in its place,” Ane said, arms crossed. If Mizzy was this dazed by all the current problems, there was no telling what others would do once they had reversed the effects.
“We’ll find you a place to stay, and recuperate,” Dom said from under his mask. It was a bit muffled, but fairly clear.
“You can stay with us,” Minari said, putting a hand on her lady-in-waiting’s. Ane nodded in agreement.
Returning to his work as the others resumed talking; Dom went about adjusting some of the weapons. He would need to test these soon, but for now he figured it would be better to just let the others chat. Looking over, he could see D00m was busy with her other chores… Right now she should be tending to the cooling tower and making sure all the steam was venting properly. Fixing his mask, he turned on the blow torch and grabbed some armor that he needed to modify. Hadrian was always against him altering the designs, but he knew there was no stopping Dom. If he saw a problem with them, he would normally fix it, and then sell it back to him for a bit more than what he bought them for. Behind him, he could hear the others chatting, which made him glad that they could all relax down here. It was apparently getting much worse above than they had anticipated.
Now they needed to start finding others that were brainwashed that had originally rose against the government. Currently though, finding those people wasn’t getting any easier. Since all the re-offenders were being kept under lock and key, breaking them out was not going to be easy. If it could get any more complex, it would. Dom knew that worse things were going to come.
Glad to finally have a new face added to their ranks, he set his stuff aside and looked at his current creation. Pulling it on, he double checked out it fit. Unexpectedly it was very comfortable and was very easy to move in. Now it was just a matter of testing it against the weapons… Now that he thought about it, he should really take a look at those and make the adjustments to them that he wanted before putting them out in the field. Granted, they didn’t have any field agents, but he wanted those present now to be protected.
Removing the armor, he set it back on the mannequin and went to another box where he dug out a few of the guns. They all ranged and size and power, which was good for those that weren’t so great at firearms and ones that had more talent. Laying them across his workbench, he examined each one, glad to find that none of them were loaded and all were as he had specified. All he had to do now was take them apart and set them up to be used. Taking out a few of the laser sights, he took one of the larger guns and set the sight onto it and tested it by looking through the scope it provided. Although the scope was quite a nuisance, the overall design was quite nice. He would probably remove the basic scope and replace it with one that had a higher definition. That would provide better accuracy and the chance for less close range attacks.
Dom dug out the scopes and started to make sure they all worked properly. He was quite surprised to find that a few of them needed to be recalibrated so that they would show the proper distance of the target. Setting aside the ones that did work, he grabbed some of the smaller guns and slid their magazines out. Like any of Hadrian’s items, Dom always had to make sure he didn’t get any kind of crap or faked parts. Luckily nothing jammed or stuck, so these were in better shape than most.
Digging through the packing hay for the ammunition, he looked to see that all that he had requested was there. Hadrian had mentioned the blast-ended slugs, followed by the regular kind. Examining them he watched as a few moved to the open magazine lying next to the gun. Loading it, he got up and wandered to where the sound proof shooting range was. Tugging on some ear protection, he then aimed at the target and fired. In an instant the slug suddenly splattered against the target in an array of color. Smirking, he popped out the magazine and took the ammunition back to his workbench. The slugs all crawled back to the box and returned with the others, who happily welcomed them with some sort of celebration dance. Shaking his head, he replaced the lid and resumed his work.
Leaving his toys alone for now, he figured he’d take a break and go to join the others. Seeing that none of the girls were in the kitchen he could hear their laughter and followed it all the way to the living room or lounge area that had a lot of recliners, couches and large comfy beanbags. His hands were incredibly dirty from all the work he’d been doing, and not to mention he had accidentally squished a regular slug while unpacking one of the boxes… so the paint was all over his clothes.
“Did you wash your hands?” Minari said, raising an eyebrow at his approach.
“It is just paint. And besides, it’s probably dry by now,” he said, moving to take a seat.
“That’s more than just paint, Dom. There’s also grease and soot. Go on. Go wash your hands,” Minari said, gesturing for him to leave her presence.
“But… I won’t get it on anything… And this is my house—er basement,” he objected.
“Yes, but we’re your guests and you don’t want to get it dirty here while we’re around,” she said. Obeying what he was being told, he went back to the kitchen out of earshot. Just as he started the water, he could hear them laughing about something. All of them practically lived here, which made him wonder why they would care so much. D00m kept the basement impeccably clean, so there was really never a need to worry about him getting it messier than she could handle. After all, D00m never slept. She needed something to do while he and Sola were sleeping.
Finally after washing his hands, he returned to the group and took his seat. The conversation wasn’t exactly one he wanted to be in, as they were talking about marriage, kids and then of course… their times of the month. Feeling incredibly awkward, he got up, excusing himself. Returning to the kitchen, he decided he would make dinner—which might have been what they wanted him to do. It was a few minutes later that he noticed Sola had joined him.
“You don’t have to help. It’s fine, really,” he said, setting ingredients from the fridge onto the counter. He needed to get them some fresh fruits, vegetables and various other items so that they could actually eat healthy.
“I want to help. Besides, Ane, Minari and Mizzy are going home. They said they will find more victims and bring them by,” Sola said, smiling at him. “So, what are we making?”
“Oh, well, probably spaghetti and salad. If you wouldn’t mind, could you—“
“—Make the salad?” Sola asked, raising an eyebrow at him.
“Yeah. That would be great,” he said, nodding. D00m and Uno peeked in on them, followed by the other three. They spied on them for a few moments before the others left. The other two then returned to their normal tasks, allowing the lovebirds to chat amongst themselves.