- "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. There you go."
- ―Tony Stark
Tony Stark's Apogee Award
Tony Stark was awarded with an Apogee Award, travelling to Las Vegas in order to accept it on a ceremony presented by his friend James Rhodes at the Caesars Palace. The ceremony presented Stark's earliest successes and latest advances in military armament. However, when Stark did not appear to receive the award, Obadiah Stane accepted it on his behalf.
Stark was gambling at the casino as the award was being presented, and Rhodes gave him the award near the gaming table. Stark got rid of the award by giving it to one of the entertainers of the casino dressed as a Roman.
Lorelei, an Asgardian fugitive intending to conquer Earth, demanded to her last thrall, Agent Grant Ward, to be taken to somewhere deserving of a queen, so he took her to Las Vegas in order to show her a more scenic location than Death Valley.
While there, the two checked into Caesars Palace, a place that pleased Lorelei, and made her praise of Ward's skills, especially compared to the men she enthralled in the Mojave Desert. Despite being enthralled, Ward knew that he was dispensable for Lorelei, but he did not care about it.
Lorelei wanted Ward as the leader of the army she demanded him to present to her, giving him a gift in return. Ward and Lorelei spent the night together, and they shared their former experiences, with Ward confiding in Lorelei about his feelings for Melinda May and Skye, while she remembered her 600 years imprisoned in the Asgardian Dungeons and admiring the beauty she was seeing on Earth, despite thinking at first that it was a desolate planet while wandering the desert.
Together, Lorelei and Ward planned how to take the planet, as Lorelei was concerned that Sif was hunting her. Ward suggested eliminating her as a threat, but Lorelei warned him not to underestimate Sif, as the graves of Asgard were filled with men who did that. However, as Ward perfectly knew the people she was working with, he felt himself capable of doing so.
The following morning, Skye found a lead on Ward and Lorelei's location, and Phil Coulson led an all-female S.W.A.T. team to raid the Caesars Palace suite they stayed, only to find they had already abandoned it.
Coulson told Melinda May that he knew that, despite she told him that her relationship with Ward would not be a problem, she would not tell him if it was. May did not answer, and contacted Leo Fitz at the Bus asking him to track Ward and Lorelei using the cameras in the town, not knowing that Ward and Lorelei had drawn them from the plane to prepare an ambush and take the plane for themselves.