Then Rhodes’s eyes widened, and his body stiffened. “What the hell-” He dropped down next to Stark and pulled at his shirt. His face literally was lit up as he looked down at the radiant circle on Stark’s chest.
“Those bastards,” whispered Rhodey. “How much time-?”
Stark shook his head, uncomprehending.
“How much time until the bomb goes off, Tony!” His voice was rising with urgency. “Is there a cut-off switch?” Quickly he was uncorking his canteen and was trying to ease water down Stark’s throat. “I’m not abandoning you now, buddy! Not after all this! But we gotta disarm that thing, and if-”
Stark coughed up water, but it wasn’t because he was choking. It was because he finally realized what Rhodey was reacting to, and it was damned funny. He tried to speak and his voice was barely a croak as he said, “Not… a bomb, not a bomb.”
Rhodey stared in confusion at the miniature Arc reactor implanted in Stark’s chest. “Then what the hell is it?”
It glowed softly in the darkness. A beacon of light.
“A reminder,” said Tony Stark.