Arcade twitches. Too much morning coffee? Or not enough? He walks over to his central console and presses ‘Brew.’
Pfffft. Gurgle. Hiss.
He taps his fingers impatiently on the metallic housing of the machine. Here he was, a man capable of generating entire realities for his own amusement, waiting for coffee to brew. Coffee.
What a waste of talent.
Might as well do something productive while we wait for this archaic technology, he thought. His eyes drift over to a holographic projection awaiting input confirmation.
As he gestures through the settings, the projection cycles through various superheroes: Captain America. Darkhawk. Iron Man. Ugh, the choices!
Then he gets an idea. His lips curl up in a thin smile as he hits ‘Randomize.’ The smile only gets wider has he sees the results staring back at him.
Huh. What are the odds?
Arcade’s Murderworld: Domino vs. Gambit
Gosh, what’s that infernal noise? Domino lifts her head off the smooth felt lining the roulette table. She squints, trying to protect her eyes from the flashing lights enticing people to test their luck at rigged games of chance.
Except there aren’t any people here. Well, except for that guy passed out at the blackjack table. Judging by the empty glasses around him, Lady Luck hasn’t been on his side.
It had been YEARS since she’d been in a casino. Maybe not since her Six-Pack days. Turns out that pit bosses don’t take too kindly to robbing the house blind.
Domino gets up and walks over to the nearest slot machine, wistfully looking at the cartoony images of cacti and saloons depicted on the cabinet. ‘FREE PLAY’ scrolls across the screen.
She glances over her shoulder. That guy in the edgy trench coat is still out cold.
One pull wouldn’t hurt.
Domino grabs the lever and pulls down; the reels begin to spin. She tilts her head in curiosity as she watches the symbols scroll by with that telltale clicking sound.
A glowing playing card whizzes past her ear where it had been a moment before. It connects with the escalator leading up to the second floor, causing a violent explosion. Domino leaps out of the blast radius, tumbling across the stained retro carpet to glance up at the blackjack table where the man is apparently NOT unconscious.
Twisting out of the way of another barrage of perfectly-tossed cards, she finds herself next to a beverage cart. How fortuitous. She ducks behind it, grabs the long railing on its edge, and starts pushing it towards her assailant to close the distance between them.
As small explosions pepper the metal exterior of the cart, Domino breathes a sigh of relief that the structure is holding up. Made in Germany; that explains it. Some errant embers, charged with kinetic energy, ricochet off the cart and ignite the blackjack table.
The first column on the slot machine comes to a stop with a satisfying bloop. 7.
She lets out a shout as she pushes the cart at the man. Structurally weakened by the salvo of cards, it falls apart on impact as the man gets knocked to the ground. Ice flies everywhere and several bottles shatter, covering the ground in amber liquid and filling the air with fumes.
The spreading fire illuminates the man’s features. Wait a second. That black headband and flowing brown hair – she’d recognize it anywhere. Isn’t that Gambit?
Gambit quickly jumps to his feet, grabbing the detached metal rod from the broken beverage cart. He twirls it expertly and presses the attack through the wreckage.
Domino blocks the first swing with her forearm, and bends awkwardly to avoid the follow-up from the makeshift bo. She stumbles backward, struggling to find leverage while unarmed.
With a crunch, Gambit steps on a stray ice cube, causing him to momentarily lose his balance. A moment is all Domino needs to dive over a nearby table, spraying poker chips in all directions.
Panting, she looks around at the poker chips surrounding her. They begin to glow, changing from a soft pink to a vibrant red. Gambit smirks, holding the staff off to one side, stretching his other hand out towards her.
That’s not good.
Like firecrackers, the tiny chips begin to explode. Domino shields her head and attempts to roll out of the way. But only a few of the clay discs detonate before the sound is dwarfed by a much larger explosion.
Unbeknownst to Gambit, the fire had spread from the blackjack table down to the alcohol-soaked carpet. A few of the unbroken bottles were drenched in the flammable liquid, right where Gambit had been standing. A veritable powder keg.
Gambit’s eyes get wide as he comes to the realization of what’s happening. But it’s too late. With a blinding flash and a deafening BOOM, his flaming body hurtles into the scrolling slot machine head-first with a deadly SNAP!
Ding! Ding! Ding!
Coins begin pouring out of the machine as the last reel stops on the final 7, raining down on Gambit’s smoldering body.
Singed and scraped, Domino wipes the soot from her cheeks while the siren light flashes across her face.
The smell of coffee wafts through the air. Arcade takes a sip from the freshly-brewed cup.
Ah. That’s better. Who’s next?