The Secret Origin of Tony Stark
Maria Stark had suffered numerous complications during her pregnancy, and was told the prognosis of her child surviving birth was not good. Desperate to save his unborn son, Howard Stark travelled the world in the hopes of finding a mind greater than his own that would be willing to help him. He found one in the form of Rigellian Recorder 451, an extraterrestrial android that had been observing Earth for decades. 451 agreed to help, but he had a heavy price: He had envisioned humans one day controlling a massive Empire that would rule the known galaxy, but humanity needed a champion that would ensure that it would survive to see this future, and as far as 451 was concerned, any "initiative" that Colonel Fury was putting together was simply not going to cut it. The "son of Stark" would have to be a scion of a new breed of humanity - superior even to these mutants that were starting to reveal themselves - whose very existence would advance humanity's technological growth by at least 50 years. The Starks reluctantly accepted 451's terms and gave birth to a healthy child... but never fully trusted 451's motivations. Sure enough, it was soon discovered that the child had a killswitch built into his genetic cocktail to ensure that he would fulfill his intended purpose when 451 returned. Howard managed to engineer a biococktail that neutralized the killswitch, but it resulted in the son having severe medical complications. In order to maintain the charade in the event of 451's return, they adopted a boy named Tony and raised him as their own, while the biological child, Arno, was kept hidden within the Maria Stark Foundation Hospice Care Facility. Howard and Maria were killed in a car accident before they could inform either brother of the other's existence. However, Howard did make a recording that revealed the truth, with a trail of breadcrumbs to ensure that Tony would find it once he was ready to start looking.
While the biococktail neutralized 451's genetic killswitch, it did so at a heavy price, as the baby Arno's health quickly degenerated a few hours after being born, and it became clear that he could not breath on his own. He was consequently confined to an iron lung at the Maria Stark Foundation Hospice. Arno's physical infirmity was slightly counterbalanced by his genius level intellect, even though he was not capable of leaving his hospital room, the advent of virtual classrooms ensured that he received a quality education. Arno was 21 when Howard and Maria were killed in a car accident. By this time he had received numerous degrees in business, robotics, and engineering. He followed Tony Stark's career as Iron Man with some degree of curiosity, but did not draw attention to himself; he feared the consequences of 451 finding him, and had, in fact, been haunted by nightmares of an alien artificial intelligence with sinister designs on Earth from the moment he was first able to dream.
A City of The Future
By the time the Stark Brothers finally met, neither 451 or the Mandarin were active threats any more, so they decided to pool their resources together on an ambitious project to turn Mandarin City into Troy, an ambitious city of the future using the advanced Kree technology within 451's now inert husk as a guide. Arno uses the technology to create a cybernetic exoskeleton that enables him to walk, and even manages to modify Troy's central defense tower so that it could transform into a powerful robot mode, the Iron Metropolitan. Troy eventually came under siege by the Ten Rings, a group of supervillains that were carrying on the Mandarin's legacy. During the final battle with the Ten Rings, Arno entered the fray himself, piloting the Iron Metropolitan in support of his brother and their allies. Iron Man subsequently placed Arno as the custodian of Troy, trusting that it was in good hands under his care.
Arno's research into the Extremis virus enabled him to save the life of Bruce Banner when he was shot by an insane assistant who feared the threat he posed as the Hulk. Not long after his recovery, Banner discovered that Tony had tampered with the Gamma Bomb that resulted in his original transformation, removing the shielding that Banner had intended for it to have. Believing that Tony, through either negligence or sabotage, was ultimately responsible for his condition, Banner confronted Arno, blackmailing him into injecting him with a new strain of Extremis, which enabled him to retain his intelligence when he transformed into the Hulk, then went after Iron Man in revenge. Ultimately, Iron Man and the Hulk call a truce when it's discovered that Tony's "tampering" ultimately saved Banner's life... had the Gamma Bomb detonated with the original level of shielding, Banner would have been killed. Arno would later use the research he used to "upgrade" the Hulk to rewrite his own DNA, seemingly curing himself of all of his physical disabilities.
Please, "Mr. Stark" was my father. Call me Arno.Arno introducing himself
Everything in my entire life has been leading to this. It's my destiny. This is the year I save all life on Earth... and nothing will stand in my way.Iron Man 2.0...or is it 3.0?
Until now, I've failed to bring A.I. and humanity together into the unified force I'll need. Trying to reprogram all robotkind didn't work... but now I see it's because they're not the real problem. Machines make sense. It's humanity that's complicated... irrational... unruly. Once I've installed my new invention on the Stark Space Station, all that will change. Every man, woman and child will obey me... without question. This is my penultimate task. Once it is all completed, all that will remain... is the sole reason that I, Arno Stark, exist-- To save you all!Arno goes mad with power
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