@lady_liberty: (Apologies for the delay)
Things are a mess. In no small part due to you.
Anthony smiled slightly as he listened to Kelly's words, wondering what would have happened in Venezuela if his predecessor Anthony Stark had never manipulated Premonition into invading Venezuela. Maybe the world would be a lot different, better or worse, who truly knew.
As she finished the iron titan found himself gazing out towards the distance again, thoughtful. He hadn't truly anticipated how or why he was going to tell Kelly what he was going to say, only that he wanted to say it. It had been a secret hidden for far too long, and had made far too many people to suffer without it playing on even his sociopath-like mind.
He had almost programmed his mind to accept most of his acts as simple utilitarianism... But when millions were displaced or died in part or directly due to your actions, it was hard to swallow that notion. Perhaps this was a type of misguided penance for his sins and soul. Maybe it was just his way of expressing what had been pent up for far too long, who knew.
A flood of memories; hard hitting memories, overtook him as old words reverberated through his skull like a continuous whirlwind. Antonia Dain, a former ally had expressed her true feelings to their old plan.
He recalled her words, perfectly stored within his mind.
"This is 'playing your part perfectly?' You have the power to change things; you didn't have to do so much damage. I'd find myself wondering if you're even the same person." Never sitting, she leaned against the back of the chair, propping herself on her hands, digging aggressively into the seat. "But I guess it is too late for you, now. A second chance, an opportunity for redemption, and you threw it away for the long way around."
Once upon a time, Stark and the Noir Rose had come up with a very convulsed plan. It involved the greater good, but the nature of utilitarianism was unkind and unclean, and most certainly not for the faint hearted.
He looked towards Kelly as he began, "Once upon a time, I had an idea. It was in the midst of an unmitigated defeat at the hands of a group calling themselves the Arcani, you have certainly heard of them. I have a confession, Miss Coltaine. This is not my originating universe. Nor is it for a woman which you know as Antonia Dain." He paused, folding his arms as his suit creased slightly. "At this point in time, Anthony Stark is dead. The Stark which once walked upon this world was slain, ironically, by an Arcani affiliate."
To the Merchant of Death, it was almost poetic. Fleeing one universe because of the Arcani, and replacing himself in this one, in which he had been slain by a member of the Arcani. Reality truly was far more astonishing than fiction.
"Per chance, with slight luck, I managed to emerge from my own timeline at the perfect moment. Replacing the terminated Stark and presiding as him myself before the world knew of his death. You see," he continued, wondering what the presidential candidate would be thinking,"In my previous timeline a conflict broke out, between humanity and mutant kind. His eyes burned with a jaded rage, which then died down into a bleak flame moments after. "This was spurred by the Court of Arcani and in their blood-lust for humanity, it enveloped us all." Anthony creased his brow. This is the future from where I come from, and this is the future which I could not allow to happen ever again."
His blue eyes inexplicably flashed white for a moment as he looked at her. "Our plan upon arrival to this universe involved many things. One of which involved myself becoming President of the United States and performing an act so bad, it would inspire the world to look in upon itself and realize things had to change. I thought Gothic descending into something terrible would be a catalyst for this change." It probably sounded absurd, even to him it did. Although her candidacy served to legitimize the plan, sort of.
"I have always been a big believer in utilitarianism, this may have been the greatest act of "The Greater Good" the world had ever seen. And in part, I thought it had failed."
He chuckled slightly, "Until you and Jean Quentin stood for President."
Stark knew there was no going back, he had told Kelly almost everything, next came the easier truth of why her and not Jean. "Two candidates, ones which I truly believe can deliver a better tomorrow. I decided to support yourself due to your affiliation with Antonia, I simply trust her judgement."