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Formicidae

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@formicidae:

Instinctively, a smile of evident contentment bedecked the posh cosmopolitan's comely features as Aaron's hand clamped his own. "I have been told that I could sell salt to a slug", a quiet laugh escaping his dapper frame following an exaggerated josh about his commended silver tongue. "Ah si, I remember", an expression of genuine fondness overtaking his visage, his mind romanticizing with the past memory. Relinquishing his hold over Aaron's hand, Santiago issued a mild nod prior to casting a quick wink of ocular dynamism, "That would be a treat wouldn't it? A giant strawberry. Make a pool of chocolate with it and you have something to keep your lady happy for weeks", he jested. "Any woman in your life, mano?", Santiago inquired, pouring himself another glass of Blue Label scotch whisky, hardly allowing himself to be distracted from the amicable conversation by the Source Particle files atop his desk.

"What? No, no no." Aaron replied bluntly in order to keep Santi's question about the contents of his personal life down and out.

He shoved his shivering hands into the pockets of his jeans, falling backwards into the chair without any caution in the sudden motion at all. His face hinted at a slight blushed color considering all the memories of the girls Santi tried to hook him up with started to trickle down into his conscious thought process.

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@la_espada:

An earnest laugh escaped from Aaron's diaphragm. Genuine happiness overtook him. That was exactly something he was expecting from Santi. The meek Georgian scientist wiped the sweat from his brow. He needed to relax, majorly. He was among friends here. The inherent paranoia bred from years of being lied to needed to be opened up like an autopsy, not reinforced with more and more bricks. His tired eyes met Santi's gleaming, earnest optic mirrors. He couldn't deny that they were the same ones he locked wits with in the labs back in Biology 2040. They were always one step ahead, always asking questions, always inquiring, prying deeper into the answers they received, picking apart the analyses and hypotheses without pause. They were predators' eyes, but an honest one.

Aaron's feet did not move on that floor. He swiveled his hips, removing the documents containing the knowledge that would either make or break the world from his jacket again. He packed them together, smacking the bottom of the stack on Santi's desk, laying them flat with an almost obsessive perfection. Without missing a step, he clamped onto the Spaniard's hand with his own. Dirty blonde hair rose up into two baby blues, full of soul and trust. He had only ever done this once before, and had everything dumped over his head in the process.

"Santiago, freaking, Porthos," he replied at last.

"Let it be known that you have a way with words,"

A sly smirk crawled to his face. Confidence wormed its way into his heart after so many years drowning in a rotten stew of pity and remorse. A glimmer of hope started to shine.

"Remember that exhibition I did on growing that giant strawberry? I'm thinking something bigger. Maybe we can do the next one in Africa, make a Thanksgiving dinner the size of a semi truck. Just something wholesome, you know?"

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@anthony_stark:

"Whatever you want to tell me, you can tell me out in the open. You've changed, Tony. Either that, or you're not even the Tony I knew back at Peak Industries," he retorted, standing his ground.

"I might be a whiny little b-tch sometimes, but I'm still strong enough to know when and where to pick out the bullsh-t, and you're steaming right now. Explain what's going on. Right. Now."

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#4  Edited By Formicidae

@la_espada:

"I get that," Aaron shoved the papers back into his jacket, patting the puffed up pouch with a renewed fervor. He understood perfectly now.

"I get that, Santi. Murderers. Terrorists. I mean, have you seen what Rama Khan did in India? Have you seen..."

He fell backwards into the chair again, running his hands through his hair in a sudden panic. He was having an anxiety attack. Sweat started to bead on his forehead and on the back of his neck. Pulse increased. Heart rate soared. Breathing became heavier, more labored. He was remembering the aftermath of Barksdale. His hometown. Seeing the charred bodies and blown-out buildings. All the work of one man, forced against his will to destroy everything he knew and loved. A man people once called Allegiance.

A man he called James Palmer.

"It doesn't matter who I give these notes to, it'll all turn out the same,"

He shot back up, kicking the empty beer can across the room. Frustration, now. The reason behind his baggy eyes revealed itself in full.

"I poured my heart and soul into the Enforcers, into what Tony believed. Sure, he had a drinking problem. Sure, he had anger issues of his own. But he was human damn it. He was human and no matter how much he loved his country or wanted to protect it, power corrupted him into wanting more and more. I don't know what happened, but it's like he's a different person and I don't want that to happen to you,"

Three-thousand, eight hundred, and sixty two. The number of miniscule details intertwining and weaving together into a majestic tapestry of framework that made up the main feature of Santi's office. Something from Europe, no doubt. Perhaps the most beautiful piece of artwork ever to grace the eyes of mankind, or at least in someone's opinion. It probably concealed a screened device designed for intercommunication through several important figures in the company and beyond. He had to count those details, otherwise he would have gone completely over the edge. Started crying. Like a weak little baby. He had to be strong. Now that James, Big Strong James, was gone he had to be the one who carried the Palmer name.

Alone.

"My point is that I can't trust you Santi. We've worked together. We've been friends since we were in college. People used to laugh when I studied in the biology room next to the ant farms. You sat across from me, always made a higher grade. Usually by one point. You ass," he smiled, trying to calm himself down by any means necessary.

"People are people, Santi. You can surround yourself with all the imported drinks and art your self-made fortune can make, but you're still a man with your own aspirations and dreams. I want to see a world without hunger. Disease. War. Pain. Just...how do I know you're not lying to me like everyone else?"

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@anthony_stark:

"Sh-t," Aaron hissed under his breath. The voice that was supposed to be warmest to his ears instead bit the inside of his brain like a scorpion crawling around his skull and pinching every nerve.

"First of all, Tony," he wanted to stand up to this man. With every fiber of his being, he wanted to stick his smug nose inside a blender so that he wouldn't look down it at him anymore. The casual comment about Aaron's recently deceased brother struck a sensitive spot in his stomach, causing his torso to start burning.

"You know how I am with surprises," he unfolded his clenched fist as part of an emphasis to that note. If he didn't, he would have punched the president right on the chin.

"Second of all, no - don't, please stop, Tony - TONY!" he shouted, desperate to get the president's damned attention.

"Just hold on a second, alright," he held his forehead, trying his hardest not to do something he would regret. "The Enforcers are gone. Peak is gone. You're the president, arguably the most powerful figure in the free world. Access to untold billions of dollars in military surveillance technology. You don't come to the ground zero of Barksdale, yet you just decide to pop up out of nowhere in an alley. Alright yeah, fine, just give me a heart attack for no reason."

@la_espada:

:D

Charm, eh? I get it :P

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@la_espada:

Dude, it's so much fun writing with you.

I'll get a reply up later tonight, but Santi is not sounding trustworthy right now.

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@anthony_stark:

(No...)

08:12 AM - just got done with breakfast. The local Mom's Place had great omelettes. Crossing the street on a full stomach, Aaron twirled his keys around his finger, watching the Allegiance shield keychain he kept as memorandum for his brother. He whistled a few notes from a song he heard on the radio that morning.

Something about bad times getting better.

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@inner_demon:

True, true.

If Doom does somehow manage to get president, it's going to be amazingly beneficial.

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#9  Edited By Formicidae

@inner_demon:

Is alternate Earth still considered Earth, then?

If the Tony we have in office is still from another reality, that is...

But whatever, if I'm putting anyone into the presidential race it would have been Allegiance. Now it might be Aaron...

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#10  Edited By Formicidae

@inner_demon:

Elysian.

But politicians aren't anything if they're not slick with their words :P