In this war... there is no Registration. There is only the Initiative!
"HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
Tony Stark smiled as he raised a small glass of scotch in the air. The people surrounding him were all dressed in colorful costumes and smiling. Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Yet they were all still flawed.
"Happy 2014 Tony." James Rhodes the pilot of the War Machine armor (and Tony's best friend) said as he walked over. A glass of soda in hand.
"Happy 2014 Rhodey. Let's hope it's better then the last year." Tony's face darkened. The Bullseye invasion. The Destruction of Seattle. The failure of the West Coast Avengers and perhaps worst of all... the New Warriors rebellion. "I have to get back to work in a few minutes..." He muttered as he drank the last of his drink. "Cover for me?" Rhodey nodded as he walked back into the crowd. Tony slowly walked up the stairs into his room.
"You took your time!" A voice rang out as Tony stepped into his room. Tony smiled.
"Ms Sharpe..." Tony said calmly as he sat down next to Miriam at his computer. "I half expected you to be downstairs with the others." Sharpe gave him a frown and Tony stopped talking.
"Business before pleasure.." She shrugged. "I've sent you a list of candidates who might be suitable."
Tony switched on the computer and brought up the message.
Tony frowned. "Taskmaster's a wanted criminal. Hank Pym's gone off the grid. Moon Knight's a lunatic... who's Iron Patriot?"
Miriam straightened up. "You placed me in charge to keep relationships between the Government and the Super Human population stable. How's James Rhodes doing?"
"Are you suggesting what I think you're suggesting Ms Sharpe?"
An image of an Iron Man armor spray painted with the American Flag appeared on the screen.
"The Iron Patriot will be announced next week. The Initiative the week after." Miriam explained. "Which gives us plenty of time to decide on who'll be training the new recruits."
Tony quickly tapped the screen. Removing names and adding several new ones.
Howard the Duck
"Captain America isn't interested. Black Panther and Cyclops are too busy. Wolverine doesn't listen to orders."
"Bucky Barnes is a KGB Agent!" Miriam yelled.
"EX KGB." Tony corrected.
"Well... who's Portal?"
"He's pretty much the head of A.R.M.O.R." Tony explained. "Howard the Duck is a master of Quack Fu. Nick Fury for obvious reasons. Songbird works daily with people who want to kill her and Bucky Barnes is a high ranking agent of SHIELD."
Miriam smiled as she picked up a bottle of whiskey from the side of her chair and poured it into two glasses/
"Happy new year Ms Sharpe." Tony said as they chinked glasses.
"Happy new year Mister Stark." Miriam said as she took a drink of the alcohol.
Bucky Barnes yawned as he stepped off the plane from England. The 7 hour trip wouldn't normally have exhausted him however after the mission he'd just been through he couldn't help but feel shattered. He casually picked up his luggage and held a small recorder to his mouth.
"Winter Soldier Journal. Diary Entry: January 5th 2014. After 3 months of Zero Contact with SHIELD whilst infiltrating AIM and HYDRA I have to admit... it's good to be back in the US of A." He stretched as he walked out into the New York sunlight. "I'm thinking of heading back to my apartment. Get a couple hours sleep." He smiled. "or I could just visit Natasha instead..."
"Captain Barnes right?"
Bucky quickly clicked the recorder off before turning around to see a man in a giant bulky suit staring down at him. People around stared in surprise.
"War Machine." Bucky said calmly. "What are you doing here?"
War Machine nodded beneath his helmet.
"Tony Stark sent me to collect you. Said he's got a business proposal that you might be interested in."
Bucky waved his hand over his shoulder as he turned to walk away.
"Later. I've just come back from a mission. I want to relax. Rest up. Maybe hang out with my girlfriend..."
War Machine frowned. "Girlfriend?"
"Yeah." Buck said turning around again. "The Black Widow. Why?"
War Machine shifted uncomfortably. He always sucked at things like this.
"I wasn't aware you hadn't been told... your girlfriend... Natasha Romanova... she's dead."
Bucky's eyes widened in shock as he dropped his briefcase on the floor. The case accidentally opened revealing a large round shield that fell onto the pavement.
"Tony Stark. Genius. Billionaire. Playboy... philanthropist..."
The Extremis version of the Iron Man helmet clanked to the ground as a hooded figure casually stood up from his chair.
"Mister Stark. What exactly is that you're working on?"
Tony Stark glanced at the monitor to see Maria Hill glaring at him.
"Something I've had planned for awhile Ms Hill. Something I've been working on since the first meeting of the Avengers."
"What is that?" Hill asked. "Some kind of Thor-Buster armor?
Tony sighed. "Yes I suppose you could call it that. What exactly do you want Hill?" He snapped.
"Just making sure you're ready for your Iron Patriot announcement tomorrow."
The monitor flickered off and Tony chuckled as he walked over to the Thor-Buster's control switch.
"Let there be light..." He muttered as he flicked the switch on. The Thor-Buster shook it's head wildly as it came to life. "Good. Looks like it works..."
"Thor-Buster Unit Online."
Tony rolled his eyes. "That sounds stupid when you say it out loud..." He mused to himself. "Clone! Name template rewrite! New name..." Tony smiled. "Ragnarok...."
"Ragnarok Unit Online."
"Good. Now tell me clone... Who. Am. I?"
" Originates from the year 2020. Currently using the alias Tony Stark. Real name... Arno Stark."