I still haven't seen Dominion yet, but I've been carrying an Indoraptor figure around the house with me (and I should have a Bucky figure arriving soon). I figured it was only a matter of time before I wrote it crossing paths with the Winter Soldier, since their backstories are pretty similar, being trained to be living weapons.
I had the first few paragraphs sitting in my docs for several weeks, but I shared them with CrysstalClear and she encouraged me to keep going.
Rather than a concrete bunker or a bank vault, the Asset is thawed in a sleek laboratory. Scientists in white coats bustle around, but many are focused on something other than the Asset.
The Asset shivers from cryofreeze. Its eyes fall on large eggs incubating in a glass dome. Something twinges in the Asset's chest. It is not envy. The Asset does not feel envious. Its discomfort with the effects of cryofreeze are irrelevant.
The Asset forces its shivering body to stand at attention as a scientist in a white lab coat approaches with a man brandishing an electroshock rifle. The scientist is a man of Asian descent who rings no recognition in the Asset's brain, and it has not been put through the chair.
"The Asset is the perfect example of training," the scientist says, examining the Asset's still form. "If we can train the Indoraptor as the Asset has been trained…"
The Asset does not know what an Indoraptor is, but something in its head whispers dinosaur.
The guard glances at the Asset. "It was human once, wasn't it, Doctor Wu?"
The Asset is not a human. It is a weapon.
Doctor Wu waves a hand. "All humanity's been fried out. It's the perfect weapon."
Doctor Wu is incorrect. The Asset was never human, like the doctors, guards, handlers and targets. The Asset stays silent, not voicing this observation.
"It's still not a dinosaur," the guard frowns. "I know Grady had some success with that raptor pack of his, but they were never this… docile."
The Asset somehow knows that dinosaurs would not stand at attention as it is doing, knows that they would snap and growl rather than waiting to be pointed toward a weapon and fired.
"The Indoraptor can be conditioned to obey, just like Grady's raptors." Doctor Wu says.
The first time the Asset sees the Indoraptor, the dinosaur prowls in its cage, letting out a growl that starts to sound similar to the drills used to work on the Asset's teeth. The Asset suppresses a flinch as the Indoraptor's red eye meets its own.
The Asset watches the Indoraptor stalk back and forth as its curved claws click on the metal floor.
The Indoraptor is dark and somewhat leathery, like the Asset's outfit. The Asset has a metal arm; the Indoraptor has a yellow, metallic streak running from its head to its tail. Its clawed hands and feet have vicious talons.
One of the guards shocks the Indoraptor. "Be still."
The Indoraptor growls. Later, it watches as the Asset is put in the chair. The Asset watches the Indoraptor until the world whites out, replaced solely by pain.
The Asset has been tasked with assisting in training a creature called an Indoraptor to locate a target based on a laser beam from a gun. The Indoraptor is steadily conditioned to lock on to the laser, and attack when the Asset pulls the trigger, emitting an acoustic signal.
The Asset could shoot a target just as easily. Easier, in fact. It would be a much less conspicuous kill than the Indoraptor tearing the victims apart.
Of course, nobody asks the Asset's opinion. The man called Mills thinks this is brilliant.
The Asset wonders if it will be decommissioned and replaced by the Indoraptor, or if it will be demoted to merely pointing the Indoraptor to targets it could have taken out itself.
The Asset bears the Indoraptor no ill feelings. The Asset does not have feelings. The Indoraptor is another asset, being trained to attack whoever the handlers point it at.
The Asset is wise enough to know it is not the Indoraptor's handler, even if it is the one aiming the gun at the Indoraptor's target. The guards make certain of this, shocking the Asset with their weapons, mocking the Asset for having a lizard brain like a dinosaur.
When the Asset is shocked, the Indoraptor snarls at the guards. They flinch and quickly turn their shock rifles on the Indoraptor.
The training of the Indoraptor continues. After a week, it immediately orients toward the laser, muscles coiled and ready to attack. When the Asset squeezes the trigger to prompt the attack, the Indoraptor leaps forward, a vicious black streak of talons and teeth.
The Asset figures that the Indoraptor will not be useful for stealth or extracting hostages. The Asset is mostly used for assassinations, but it is supposed to be subtle. If the handlers wanted the targets to meet a gruesome death, they could have ordered the Asset to carve the targets up with its knives, or rip them apart with its bare hands.
Instead, they made a hybrid dinosaur, created from raptors and something called an Indominus Rex that, according to some of the guards, had terrorized an entire world. The Asset has not heard of a Jurassic World.
Despite the Indoraptor's progress with obeying the laser and sound, it does not silently wait for orders. It does not submit to medical procedures, as the Asset does. The scientists need to shoot it with three tranquilizers before performing any medical work on the Indoraptor.
Still, Mills thinks the Indoraptor is ready to be shown off. The Asset expects to see it sent on a mission, but the Indoraptor is left in its cage.
The Asset is not sent on any missions. It hears of others rounding up dinosaurs on an island with an active volcano, but is not sent to assist. The Asset does not remember many missions involving capture rather than assassination, but it would be capable of completing them.
Instead, it remains in the lab with the Indoraptor, but is trusted to stay where it is ordered to. The Indoraptor is still caged, now in a large cage at the end of a corridor.
One night, the Asset sits silently, as ordered. It has not been frozen during the Indoraptor's training, but does not require sleep right now. It hears a small elevator moving down towards the laboratory.
The Asset is usually not permitted to sleep, but they have not been freezing it while it has been assisting with the Indoraptor's conditioning.
It hears footsteps approaching, but not the footsteps of a grown man, of Doctor Wu, or Mills.
Instead, a prepubescent girl enters the laboratory.