May 31, 2010. Monday.
I got up early in the morning, brushed my teeth, and ate breakfast with my mom as usual. After that, I headed off for work. It's been more than a week now since I started working.
Meanwhile, Stark is doing fine. I discovered that the reason why he was dying is because of heavy metal poisoning induced by the palladium element in the Arc Reactor on his chest. And the next day after his disastrous birthday party, he met up with a man in a Donut store. The man had dark skin, bald, and a noticeable eye patch covering his left eye. Although I hate to admit it, the man looked very cool; almost seems like a secret mafia boss.
They discussed the legacy of Stark's father and something about making a group of superheroes. (Good grief, it's finally happening.)
Another surprise was that Natalie Rushman, who I previously knew as just Stark's assistant, was actually an agent sent by Nick Fury, the man with an eye patch. Nick Fury addressed her as Agent Romanoff.
After that, Fury left the property and legacy of Stark's father in Stark's hands.
Using his father's research, Stark discovered a message from his father that led him to examine the original 1974 diorama of the Stark Expo: in reality, a disguised diagram for the molecular structure of a new element. Stark hand-built a Particle Accelerator with the aid of his computer AI J.A.R.V.I.S and synthesized a new element, creating a new, perfected Arc Reactor that cured his palladium poisoning.
Unfortunately, I don't understand any of this either so I can't explain it to you too. I don't really become a science freak even if I casted [Parallel Thoughts], cause all it did was to quicken my brain processing, not making me a genius.
One thing is for sure though: This man's life really feels like it was taken from a movie somewhere.
I'm not really a fun of stalking, and I can't say that I enjoy watching/spying the life of a middle-aged man. But so many extraordinary things were happening around him that I can't help but be aware of his existence.
As I mull over these things, I realized that I'm already near Lynn's working cubicle. This girl has been cheerful since yesterday because even though we didn't get a Stark interview like what Robertson wanted, we did get news-worthy scoops. (Ms. Potts promotion to CEO; Stark and his friend's fight.)
"Finn! We've got a new assignment! Guess what?"
"'We've been assigned to go to the Stark Expo because we couldn't get the Stark interview in the end'-- something like that?"
"What?! How did you know?!"
"How would I not know when it's written all over your face? Besides, I've already heard that you've been boasting about it ever since you arrived this morning."
"It's not a compliment, you blockhead." I sighed.
"Good grief. Lately, I get less and fewer hours to play video games or watch animes because of work. I wonder how long I can last..." Mumbling for the last time, I followed Lynn out of the office.
Night of the same day.
The Stark Expo is an exposition located in Queens, New York City that brings minds together from around the world and combines them to try and develop new inventions to improve quality of life for mankind and the world in the future. According to Lynn, it was created by Tony Stark's father, Howard Stark. The Expo ran from 1943 to 1974, until it was revived by Stark just this year.
The Expo is a gathering of tech-savvy people hoping to present their new inventions; so naturally, there would be plenty of investors attending and the media too.
There were many amazing inventions this year, but the one that shocked them the most was the presentation of a guy called Justin Hammer, president of the Hammer Industries.
"Ladies and gentlemen, today I present to you the new face of the United States military. The Hammer drone!"
After his speech ended, in one corner of the stage, a line of combat-looking robots rose out of the floor. The robots were not unlike that of Iron Man, albeit with a bigger frame and it's remote-controlled, not a suit.
"Army!" Justin Hammer pointed at the 8 Hammer drones equipped with shoulder-mounted tank guns and wrist-mounted machine guns. A military song started playing.
"Navy!" What came out next was the same 8 Hammer drones with only a slight difference in design from the first ones. It was equipped with two shoulder and wrist-mounted missile launchers, and a wrist-mounted machine gun.
"Air force!" The next to appear was a line of Hammer drones not too dissimilar to the Navy ones, the only difference is that the Air force drones are equipped with a back-mounted machine gun. It also appears slimmer and lighter than the other two.
"Marine Corps!" And lastly, a line of Hammer drones with a camouflage interior and is equipped with wrist-mounted machine guns and missile launchers.
On stage, Justin Hammer appeared ecstatic as he showcased his creations.
"Yeah! Yeah! Woo! That's a hell of a lot better than some cheerleaders, let me tell you. But as revolutionary as this technology is, there will always be a need for man to be present in the theatre of war."
Suddenly, in the middle of the Hammer drones, a single robot came out.
"Ladies and gentlemen, today I am proud to present to you the very first prototype in the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit and its pilot, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes!"
It was the man who fought Stark on his mansion, and the one who took one of his armor. The silver Iron Man suit that we saw a few days back completely looked different now. It was repainted with a much darker color and it was obviously weaponized, the evidence being the machine gun mounted on its shoulder and wrists.
Rhodes made a salute, and all Hammer drones followed.
Just when Justin Hammer was about to continue his speech, in one corner of the stadium, Stark's iconic Iron Man suit of red and gold suddenly appeared. He flew directly to the stage, landing with a loud thud.
Stark walked up to Rhodes and pretended to give the cheering audience a friendly wave. They seemed to be talking about something, so I used my [Clairvoyance] to peep in.
"We got trouble."
Just that one sentence from Stark and I was instantly tempted to cancel the magic.
"Tony, there are civilians present. I'm here on orders. Let's not do this right now."
"All these people are in danger. We gotta get them out of here. You gotta trust me for the next five minutes."
It seems like the guy, Ivan Vanko, who attacked Stark at the Grand Prix last week escaped in prison and was working with Justin Hammer, the man currently standing on stage.
Stark suddenly approached Justin. "Where is he?"
Panic can be seen in Justin's eyes, but he still tried his best to deny Stark's accusation. "What are you doing here, man?"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa." But then, Rhodes suddenly exclaimed. The machine gun mounted on his shoulder moved and pointed at Stark.
"Is that you?" Stark asked.
"No, I'm not doing that. That's not me. I can't move. I'm locked up. I'm locked up!" Rhodes warned. "Get out of here. Go! This whole system's been compromised!"
"Then let's take it outside." Stark suddenly flew upwards as the Hammer drones started shooting at him, breaking the glass roof.
I covered Lynn's head from the falling glass shards. The audience stirred up, panicking at the sudden gunfire, causing a stampede. I grabbed Lynn's hand as we followed the crowd out of the stadium.
Meanwhile, Rhodes' suit and 8 Hammer drones followed Stark to the skies, quickly vanishing in sight.
Just as I was relieving over the fact that it's finished, the remaining Hammer drones on the ground started to move. They began firing on the surroundings.