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62 - Disease

62 - Disease

"Someone's been doing well for himself."

"That obvious?" Farley grinned, showing off the new suit. "Did I miss the 'Why don't you do something with your life?' fest?"

"Actually, you're pretty early - Uncle Wainwright's still at the office, I think. Hopefully he'll be stuck long enough for us to have our own little talk."

Farley nodded, then set a small bronze disc wit a yellow gem set in its center on the tablecloth. From another pocket, he pulled out something the size of a matchbox, silver and black, and flipped it open, revealing a screen and keypad.

"Stark Industry's latest cell phone technology." He smiled, pleased with himself. "Guy practically tripped over himself to make these things more secure after everyone started trying to build their own suits."

He pressed a few buttons, then slid the phone across the table. Lamont tensed when he saw the image on the screen, glad he hadn't eaten yet. Stark lay in bed, flat on his back, shirt open, and drugged out of his mind. The veins across his chest, centered around the arc reactor and webbing outwards, were dark and gangrenous, and it didn't take a genius to figure out why.

"Good Lord..." he breathed. "You were right."

"Aren't I usually?"

Lamont shook his head, but smiled anyway. "And we're sure it's the arc reactor."

"Hells yes. If anything, it's gotten worse since that day in his room. I've been trying my best to see if magic would hold it off, but..."

"And Fury knows?"

Farley gave him his best 'well, duh' face. "Yeah, gave me the usual 'I knew about it millennia before you did' schtick, too."

"Did he say anything?"

"Yeah - be careful. For all his heroics and derring-do, he's not exactly stable."

Lamont smiled dryly. "Few in this line of work are. And?"

Farley sighed. "And if he is dying, so soon after he made his little speech about the Iron Man suit not belonging to the government..."

"Everyone will go insane." Lamont paled as he slid the phone back over to him. "Even if they don't say he did this intentionally, they'll tear apart everything he did to get their hands on their own Iron Man. If someone doesn't do something, the fallout will be enormous."

Farley closed his eyes, unwillingly remembering his research into WWII. With something like the Iron Man suit, a weapon - and there was no point in calling it anything else, no matter how much Tony bullshitted over the point - that could destroy tanks and missiles, stop bullets, and crush men where they stood-

"Yeah. It will."

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