Holograms surrounded Tony Stark, the low blue lights glaring information at him. He hadn't seen any other light in days other than the blue glow from the holograms and his arc reactor. His low slung jeans and t-shirt were covered in grease and sweat, his dark brown hair resembling Einstein. The hologram in front of him displaying a complicated summoning ritual specific to trickster gods. Groaning, Tony rubs his face, "Jarvis, I'm going to need you to order 5 gallons of lambs blood and, what the hell is a bone of a lesser saint, anyway, find me one of those too." "Of course Sir. I assume you want these purchases off the record," JARVIS intoned as Tony rolled his eyes towards the cameras in the room. "I think that goes without saying J, can't imagine what Pep would say if she saw this shopping list," Tony shuddered as his fingers flicked over the hologram. He was studying the complex summoning circle that was to be drawn on the floor of the lab when a lean black shape appeared behind the screen.
"My God, that's your thing isn't it, you just completely embrace the stereotype of death by popping up and giving some poor bastard a heart attack," Tony exclaimed as Death walked through the hologram. "Please Mr. Stark, it's not like I would tell you 'all we are is dust in the wind' if you asked me the meaning of life," Death smirked in response. "Please don't tell me you have a sense of humor," Tony's eyes were comically wide at the thought as he closed out all the holograms but the one with the summoning circle. "Mr. Stark, I am eternal, excuse me for trying to live a little," Death reproached as he examined Tony's work on the ritual. Tony continued to blink owlishly, "Oh my God, I'm really dead and you're just humoring me, that's what this is," glared Tony Death's only response was an eye roll.
"When will you be able to complete the ritual?" Death instead changed the subject causing Tony to snap back into action. Rubbing a hand through his greasy hair, Tony cringed at the feeling as he asked JARVIS. "The ritual will be able to be performed tomorrow night, barring any unforeseen complications," JARVIS politely responded to the inquiry. Death nodded in acceptance causing Tony to let out a sigh of relief he hadn't known he was holding. Tony began to fidget as he and Death continued to stand in his lab. He opened his mouth to speak but at Death's raised eyebrow, quickly shut it again. "You want to know why," Death sighed with an expectant glance toward the inventor. With a rub over his arc reactor Tony hesitantly nodded, "not why me, cause let's face it I know why you picked me, but why Loki?" Death's hands moved to both cover his cane, the large white ring glinting in the glow of the hologram. "Why not Loki, your world now has ties with Asgard and he is a powerful and competent sorcerer," Death responded as he watched Tony rub his head in agitation.
Tony huffed with an incredulous look, "I don't know, maybe because not too long ago he tried to enslave the human race and killed thousands of innocent people." Death just bobbed his head in acceptance of Tony's point. "You assume Loki is evil when he decided to attack your world for power when no Asgardian has ever shown any previous inclination to do so," Death stated and Tony nodded in agreement, "yet Earth was never the throne Loki desired, so why attack Earth. Why attack Earth when there are new powerful, unknown forces able to defend it. That is not wise battle strategy for a would be king. That is not wise strategy for someone who wishes to rule over a world," Death finished, his head tilting to look at Tony. Tony was staring hard at Death, his forehead pinched and eyebrows furrowed. "Someone was using him, testing the strength of Earth, who?" Tony demanded. "Do the ritual and make the weapons, be quick about it," Death commanded. Tony groaned and rolled his shoulders to release some tension. "Fine, then at least tell me who the people Deadpool is working with are," Tony said with a half hopeful look on his face.
Death bowed his head in acquiescence, "John Constantine, you've heard of him, yes, well there is not much else to say then. Most of what you hear is true, the man is a con artist, gifted in the ways of the dark arts and exorcism." Tony nodded, he had two files already made up on Deadpool and John Constantine, they were not the unknown elements. "What about the guy who said something about Loki being Gabriel or whatever that was?" Tony wanted to know, he hated the unknown. A look crossed Death's face, if Tony didn't know any better he would have called it fond exasperation. "Dean Winchester, contrary to Constantine, most of what you will find on him is not true. As for the Loki or Gabriel thing, well you will just have to ask him about that," Death said with a small secretive smile. "Do these guys know what they're up against? Cause, I don't want to be leading some half assed team of amateurs," Tony complained. "Mr. Stark, when it comes to dealing with me, these men have the most experience short of God," Death chuckled as he blinked out of existence. Tony threw up his hands in exclamation as the dark entity vanished. "J, start securing the lab for the ritual and have some guest rooms made up, we have company coming tomorrow," Tony informed his AI as he shut down the lab and headed for the shower and his bed, tomorrow was going to be a once in a lifetime kind of day.