The Pride faces the powerful Illuminati. Robert and Tina Minoru square off against Doctor Strange, with Tina using the Staff of One to augment her magical powers. He asks if they believe the Gibborim's lies. Those creatures, he states, serve no cause but their own greed! Whatever they may have promised the Pride in exchange for their servitude is a Chimera! Tina says she doesn't care if he is the world's Sorcerer Supreme, he will pay for his blasphemous words with his life.
Elsewhere, Alice and Gene Hayes battle Charles Xavier on the Astral Plane, though even with two against one, the Hayes' know they have a difficult task. Namor has taken to the air to sort out Frank and Leslie Dean, and Black Bolt uses his energy projections to keep the Yorkes on their toes. Reed Richards stretches in all directions, flipping Victor Stein into the air whilst reaching for Janet Stein. She struggles with a new weapon which Reed recognizes as being a Universal Weapon. He informs Janet that it's impressive, and the best example he ever discovered was on the third planet of the Kygnari system in the Negative Zone. "I pray one of these settings shuts you up, Richards, you insufferable blowhard," Janet replies.
As Namor tears though the Dean's he says to Tony that Dr. Strange led them to believe that the 'Pride' he faced were a threat to the very existence of life on Earth! So far... he is not impressed. Tony replies, whilst defending himself from Catherine Wilder's gunfire, that he never is. He called Strange for advice. It was he who decided to get the band back together.
As Namor punches Leslie Dean, he remarks that he can't believe he left the Atlantean Council in the middle of a closed session for this. Tony smacks Geoffrey Wilder and suggests that they actually defeat the Pride before they declare them to be pushovers. To help out Charles Xavier, Black Bolt sweeps through and takes out Gene Hayes. Charles thanks him and wonders if the key to victory is engaging foes whose abilities do not directly mirror their own. He reaches out mentally to Tina Minoru, taking hold of her mind. He asks if her magicks can work with her mind flooded with psychic chaff. Tina is surprised by the attack, and Doctor Strange easily captures Tina within the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak.
Namor proceeds to pummel Robert Minoru as Reed Richards captures the Steins with their own weapon. As the weapon falls to pieces, Janet cries that she had no idea that the weapon could be used like that. Reed tries to explain her engineering mistake, failing to note that a non-user can interfere with its logic tree. Janet cuts him off mid speech. "Shut up, shut up, Shut up!" Iron Man uses his repulsor blast to put down Alice Hayes and reckons that should just about do it.
Soon, police sirens can be heard. Tony shakes Namor's hand and tells them that the help of the Illuminati was as unexpected as it was appreciated. Namor replies that he knew he could pull himself out of his wretched circumstances. The fact that he already has an army of would-be world conquerors hounding him proves it. As the team takes to the skies, Tony asks Mr. Fantastic if Namor just paid him a compliment. Reed replies that Sue says he is as unpredictable as the seas... though he thinks she just says that to make him jealous. He figured it was wise to send away the members of their group with the... least friendly relationship with law enforcement. Tony reckons they can handle it from there, though they're going to have to do some explaining as it is. He asks Reed to bring the police up to speed. He needs to go find his friends.
(inside the Wilder's house in Malibu)
Young Alex Wilder wanders through the house listening to music on his headphones. He whistles as he makes his way to the fridge to grab some milk. He is blissfully aware that Tony Stark, still in the Iron Man armor, is right behind him. He looks at Reed's sonic imager and determines that there should be a hidden passageway right next to him. He clicks a switch and it slides open.
Nearby, Tamara and her brother Tyree sit in their cell, helpless. Tyree guesses it's only a matter of time before the cultists or whoever they are come for them. Tamara asks him not to give up hope. Tyree wishes to say something, and asks her to let him get it out. He's in one of his lucid phases and neither of them knows how long it will last. He remembers one of the spells that he had when he hurt her. He wants his sister to know how sorry he is. It seems like this is his last chance to say it. And not just for the most recent thing, he adds. He wants to apologize for all of it.
Tamara strokes his cheek as he lets it all out. He says he knows how hard it is to deal with him... all the ways she's tried over the years. He wants her to understand that he appreciates it. The real him, buried deep inside his illness, appreciates it more that she can know. Tamara gives him a big hug. Those words speak volumes and she sheds a tear as she replies that this is what family is for.
As they embrace, the wall to their cell explodes and Tony calls out their names. They call back and see him approach. Tamara asks if it's really him and not more mind manipulation by those maniacs. Tony opens the cell door and says there's only one way to find out. Tamara figures she'll use her own technique, and plants a kiss on Tony's lips. "Real enough for me," she smiles.
The cops take away the Pride in handcuffs. Geoffrey Wilder asks Stark if he thinks he's won. Tony replies that if he hasn't, he's going a pretty good impression of it. Wilder asks him to consider that it's one thing to conquer territory, but it's another to hold it. He is shoved into a police van and driven away, shouting, "Take it from one who knows."
(the next morning)
D.A. Chalmers stands before Wilder and nervously apologizes, asking for forgiveness. He was on vacation in Lake Tahoe. He came as soon as he heard of this most... unfortunate incident. A police insider informs Wilder that the criminal records of he and his associates have been wiped clean. It's like none of this ever happened. "With one exception," replies Wilder. He smashes Chalmers across the face, knocking the guy's glasses off, adding that District Attorney Chalmers will be facing a primary challenger this September... a challenger he will lose to. Wilder storms out of the building followed by the rest of the Pride. Now that's over with, he exclaims, they can go about destroying Tony Stark.
At the factory, Tony walks with Tamara and informs her that Rhodey came through, as he knew he would. Investment and purchase orders are flowing in from Japan. He tells her that it will take all her organizational skills to make sure their company doesn't fall behind in the first week of its existence. Tamara appreciates the confidence, but she's never organized anything bigger than an assembly full of fifth-graders. Tony assures her that you don't manage a company with half a million employees without acquiring an eye for innate talent. Tamara reminds him that he 'managed' his company right into the hands of Obadiah Stane. "Touche," replies Tony, but reckons he won't get the chance to do that with Imperio Techworks. Tamara suddenly looks concerned and asks what he means.
(meanwhile, in Geoffrey Wilder's study in Malibu)
Wilder has returned home and discovered that someone has left an auto-executing file on his computer. He switches it on and Tony Stark's bearded face appears on screen. He states that Wilder was hauled off to jail not fifteen minutes ago but he doubts he will be staying there long. They let themselves be defeated a tad too easily. He's thought about what Wilder said and decided he was right. So, he is going to give up all personal interest in Imperio Techworks. He will leave the Los Angeles metropolitan area to join Iron Man and his friends outside the city limits. He also will not tell his allies in the super hero community that he strongly suspects that his Pride runs the law in Southern California. Tony leans into the camera and points his finger at the screen. In exchange for this, Wilder will leave the people of Imperio alone forever. If he learns that he so much as prevented a street light from going on there, he will call the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, the Inhumans, the Atlanteans and anyone else he can think of. He will not rest until he has annihilated him.
Tamara looks at the sign on her door which reads 'Tamara Robinson, President CEO.' "But..." she gasps. She tells Tony that she is honored, more than words can say, but she thought that these were his positions. If she's filling them, what will he do. Tony struggles with his words, and admits that this isn't easy. He's come to understand that he came to Los Angeles to build a company by himself, without his father's money. Now that he's done that, he feels like it's time to move on. Tamara slaps him across the face and calls him a bastard. Tears well in her eyes and she asks if he's going to leave her, like every other piece of **** man she's ever met in her life! Tony tells her he's sorry, and he knows there is no reason for her to believe this, and he can't explain why, but his leaving is the only way he can save her life.
The Pride are gathered for a meeting and Tina Minoru asks Geoffrey to begin. Victor Stein points out that they seem evenly divided and, as leader, they need his vote. Do they expend more Pride resources crushing Stark and Imperio? Wilder pauses a moment and then replies no. They have new business which involves the Maggia who have approached them about opening new heroin routes.
(two weeks later)
Tyree is pushing a shopping trolley through a scrap yard. Iron Man sweeps down and calls his name. Tyree stops and Iron Man lands beside him. He tells Tyree that they haven't technically met, but he's Iron Man. He's not going to hurt him. Tyree doesn't wait for him to stop before grabbing him around the waist, hugging him. Tyree smiles and says he knows him. He's the Iron Angel! He comes from his fellow intelligent designer. He adds that he's happy to see him and asks how Tony Stark is. Iron Man replies that he's good, but is worried about him. He says Tony heard he stopped taking his meds and returned to the streets. Tyree tells him that the only way to stay one step ahead of the men from the future is to keep moving.
Iron Man hands him a piece of paper and says Tony wanted him to have it. They're the plans he drew for the Techworks smartbox. "I drew this!" exclaims Tyree. Iron Man replies that this is what Tony tells him and it must be true because he registered the patent in his name. He's never known Tony to be generous where credit is concerned. He adds that Tyree's making quite a bit of coin in the form of royalties. All the money is going into a trust controlled by his sister. So, if he ever wants to go into a home, he can certainly afford it.
"No thank you," replies Tyree. "Freedom ain't free, Angel!" He thinks that the pills kill the colors. It's like they pull a dirty grey sock over the world. Iron Man takes to the air and wishes him good luck. If he ever needs anything, Tony Stark ain't a man who forgets his friends. As he watches Iron Man rocket into the distance, continuing through the scrap yard, Tyree asks what he could possibly need, when he has all this!