His voice itches with use and strain, fatigue betraying him at the ends of his words. The drag upon his tone only increases as his state begins to deteriorate from panicked activity into a sinking horror, each syllable a weighted task that hangs heavy upon his head. Something he can’t shake. A dull, numbing pain…
He can tell by her tone, Sharon hasn’t reached her yet.
It’s on him.
“We’re under attack, network’s down– file sweep of Extremis, someone’s in Chemicals in Brooklyn trying to steal the sample. Sharon Carter’s been informed. The Avengers–. Locking down everything else, system’s almost up again. Don’t know who it is, but they just hacked one of the most secure systems in the world with an old school DDoS attack just to get to it–. We’re compromised, Maria.”
She’d been prepared for lighthearted banter, apologies exchanged for the way their previous conversation had ended. It’s not going to be like that, she knows immediately from the tone of his voice, the flustered rush with which the words tumble from his mouth and reverberate through the speaker on her end.
Her mind jolts into overdrive- she doesn’t yet know the extent of the danger, aside from the theft of intellectual property. Information is information, expensive to lose and dangerous to a degree in the wrong hands. A hand lifts, fingers massaging the spot between her brows. There had to be a reason Stark’s PR team wasn’t all over the theft of their joint-venture.
“What do you need?”