Somewhere in the Northern Area is one final bird….
Tony read it through. Twice. And voiced what he figured was probably on everyone’s mind. “You know, normally I don’t approve of assassins. I’ve been shot at. Copiously. Enough said. This guy? First come, first served? If Fury gives our pair the go-ahead, I will smile and mock.”
There was a little bit of green in Bruce’s eyes; the gamma expert took a breath, and threw it off. “Minaka… he had to know what he was about to set off.”
“Indeed,” Jarvis said soberly. “Particularly as he had set off an earlier scramble among the Ashikabi by informing them of Kusano’s location.”
Pepper was unusually pale. “The little girl? He sent adult men after….” She picked up a phone.
“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” Tony commented. “Actually, you shouldn’t do a lot of things I would do. Because if she wasn’t okay, MBI would currently be a pile of smoking rubble.” Dying or not, Jarvis would have told him about a kid in a horrible mess. And he would have done something.
“I do believe Kusano is well, Miss Potts,” Jarvis affirmed. “The video I have of her after she was rescued indicates a very normal child, outside of the tendency to create overnight jungles. For one thing, shortly after she was taken into Minato’s care, the Izumo Inn began regularly ordering children’s schoolbooks.”
Bruce seemed to relax at that. Just a little; horror losing out to plain old-fashioned outrage. “So Minaka encouraged the predators. He made a habit of it.” Fingers clenched and unclenched, never quite fists. “You know, I figured out a while ago that Ross is a single-minded, obsessive bastard. But at least he came after me himself. He didn’t set me up to be a target for every lunatic out there who wanted a super-soldier and then watch the show.”
A/N: When General Ross comes off as marginally more moral than you are, Minaka, you might have a problem….