" At the Mercy of My Friends ! " "At the Mercy of My Friends!"
Synopsis for "At the Mercy of My Friends!"
James "Rhodey" Rhodes (First appearance)
Bambi Arbogast (First appearance)
Tony Stark has been invited to be a guest speaker at a special S.H.I.E.L.D./NATO conference. Before leaving for the conference, Tony affects some last minute repairs to his armor and secures it inside of a special briefcase bound to his wrist. His secretary Mrs. Arbogast intercoms him and tells Tony that Bethany Cabe has arrived to see him. Tony goes to the reception hall Stark International and greets Bethany. However, he's on a tight schedule and doesn't really have time to talk. He goes to the airfield where he instructs his personal mechanic Rhodey to let him fly solo on one of the SI helicopters.
Stark flies to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier where the joint conference is being held. He is suspicious of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s recent actions since he knows that Spymaster, who recently tried to assassinate him, was armed with S.H.I.E.L.D. ordnance. Nick Fury greets Tony in the hanger bay, but neither men are aware that they are being secretly monitored by a group of rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Fury assigns the agents to keep an eye on Tony until the conference is ready to begin.
Tony manages to sneak away from his chaperons and enters one of the many computer rooms located on the carrier. He attaches a syphon relay from his briefcase into the computer terminal and downloads information that might answer the question of why S.H.I.E.L.D. would send Spymaster to kill him.
The rogue agents discover what Tony is doing and release PC-2 gas into the room knocking Stark out. They collect his unconscious body and pitch him (as well as his handcuffed briefcase) out of an open hangar bay.
As Tony begins plummeting to his death, he suddenly awakens and quickly removes the components of his Iron Man armor from the briefcase. He dons the armor mere inches before he would hit the ground. He flies back up to the Helicarrier and tracks down the men responsible for throwing him off the ship. He overhears them admitting to hiring Spymaster as well as their intended scheme to put pressure on SI's stockholders to sell their shares to S.H.I.E.L.D. Iron Man attacks and stuns two of the three agents. Their ringleader, Buck Richlen, tries to escape, but Iron Man gives chase and corners him in the main conference room. As Iron Man flies into the room, he finds that Buck has incapacitated Nick Fury and is holding a gun to his head. He tells Iron Man that he must take his own life or else he will kill Fury.