• Published 11th Sep 2019
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The Tin Man - Onomonopia

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In The Great Magnetic Field

It was deeper than she had ever gone.

Daring Doo tried to keep that thought from her head as she slid down a rope, descending farther down into the darkness than ever before. She was a professional, an adventurer that had seen and done countless impossible things. But this time was different. Something inside of her told her that. Something that was warning her that whatever was below should remain there, not be disturbed. But her caution was offset by her desire to explore, to learn about the world. So she pressed on, wary of any danger.

Her headlamp illuminated what it could, but it was clear at this point she wasn’t in a tunnel anymore, but a whole cavern, maybe larger. The sinkhole had opened up a few days ago, nearly sucking in a caravan of ponies. A few of the braver residents had tried to explore it, but all who went down were never heard from again. The guard had been called in and the area sealed off. Then she was called in.

Daring’s thoughts were interrupted when her headlamp discovered something she thought she would never see. Solid ground. She slid down and gently pressed a hoof against it, deciding it was solid before she let her full weight down. The mare quickly glanced around to get better view of her surroundings, but all the light could show was darkness. Wherever she was, it was far larger than a cavern.

“Okay, this is new,” she muttered. She poked the ground with her hoof, noticing that it was made of a material she had never seen before. She was tempted to taste or sniff it, yet her encounters with numerous poisons over the years changed her mind. Instead, Daring Doo began to walk forward, looking left and right to try to illuminate as much as she could.

It was hard to see in the dark, but there were definitely shapes in the darkness. Giant pillars that rose into the air, shattered and destroyed. Cracks in the ground that went on for miles. Fossilized plants that where more stone than foliage now. And other shapes, lumps of metal that she couldn’t make out.

Light reflected back at her, telling the mare that there was something of value up ahead. She trotted over to the spot, peering down into a crack to see something. She poked a metal rod she carried with her in first, just to make sure there were no traps, spiders or other lethal forces, before she stuck her hoof inside and grabbed hold of what was within.

She pulled her hoof back to see she had grabbed a small, rectangular box, slightly bigger than her hoof. The front was made of glass while the back was pure metal. The glass was all cracked and eroded and she could see that the elements had not been kind. Yet it had somehow managed to persevere.

“Okay, you’re interesting,” she said. She poked at the rectangle, noticing a very well-hidden button on the top. She pressed it and flinched, but nothing happened. Cautiously, she pressed it again. Nothing. Daring looked at it for a moment before she shrugged and put it in her bag before resuming her exploration.

Aside from the rectangle, there was not much of interest for her. Whatever secrets this place had once held had long since been lost to time. She wasn’t sure if this had been an ancient pony civilization or not, some of the lumps did look like buildings, but everything was far to damaged for her to know for sure. Except for one place.

It looked…almost like a mansion, like one of the mansions that those rich ponies that hired her would flaunt in her face. Of course, she could just be guessing, but from the structure and the design it was her best guess. She walked closer and found that her suspicions were beginning to be rewarded. Three stories, what remained of a large roof and the layout of what remained of the land added weight to her idea. This was an ancient mansion. Which made no sense at all.

“How could an ancient civilization build a mansion? And one that could last this long without losing its integrity?” she asked. She walked forward into the mansion, on guard in case something was living inside. When nothing jumped out at her, she lowered her guard slightly.

Disappointment was all she found. Despite the resilience of the outside, whatever had been in this mansion had not survived the years. Ash and dust was all that greeted her, along with a few bad smells. Nothing that could be of any value to her or to historians. The only good thing was, aside from the rectangle, that none of her rivals had shown up yet. She could take her time.

She explored the place from top to bottom, finding what remained of some rooms, a kitchen and even a room she couldn’t explain. All that was left was the basement, which, to her disappointment, held no secrets either. Just ash and dust.

She was just about to leave when a sound greeted her. The faintest of sounds, like something moving. Not something alive, but something. She had been snuck up on so many times that she had an ear for this sort of thing. Something in the room had moved.

Daring slowly moved to one side of the room, barely able to hear the sound. She moved to the other and heard it again. It was following her movements. She moved towards the stairs and the sound weakened. She moved towards the backwall and the sound grew louder. Barely, but louder none the less. She searched everywhere until she found what she was looking for. A single, tiny hole in the wall, where the smallest of lights could be seen.

She poked her rod at it, just to be safe, before she leaned up and pressed her eye close, hoping to get a better view. The moment she did so, a flash of light went off and she leapt back with a yelp. Instinctively, she clutched a hoof to her eye, afraid that she had lost it. But a few blinks revealed that she had just been blinded for a second.

“Ac---- --ni---”

Daring Doo shook her head and blinked twice. For a moment, she thought she had heard somepony speak. Yet after listening for a few moments, she heard nothing. What she saw, however, was that the hole was now gone, filled in by metal and stone. She looked at where it had been for a few seconds before shaking her head and heading for the stairs. There was plenty for her to see down here and she didn’t have time to explore this mansion forever. Maybe she could come back with a team to help her excavate it. But not today.

Yet had she stayed a little longer, she would have heard the voice speak again. More clear, more concise and sending out a message that, while meaning nothing to hear, once struck fear into the hearts of evil everywhere.

“-ve—er- A—em---”

“Ave-n-er- As-em-le”

“Avengers Assemble.”


“IT’S CLOBBERIN TIME!”

The ever-loving Thing followed up his catchphrase with a punch to the side of a robots head, cracking it open like an egg and spilling its wires everywhere. The stone man let out a laugh before four more robots jumped him, attacking with laser knifes and sonic cannons. A giant wave of fire washed over the robots, melting them off of the Thing while he remained unharmed.

“Dangit Johnny, ya nearly set my trunks on fire with that!” Thing yelled up at the burning man flying around overhead.

“You’re welcome!” Human Torch called back as he flew off to engage more robots.

“Focus team. Castle Doom is far more fortified than we thought,” Cap said to the rest of the team. “He has an ion shield preventing us from getting close to his chambers and his tech is far more dangerous than our intel believed. Carol is already out of commission and he dropped Abomination and Juggernaut on Hulk, so we’ll have no help from him.”

“Captain, Beast reporting. His Doombots in the left quadrant have weaponry that can temporarily negate mutant abilities,” a calm voice responded. “Logan is out cold and Jean is doing what she can, but we need backup over here.”

“Torch! Thing! Get over there and support the X-men!” Cap ordered. The captain then raised his shield and deflected a blast of pure sound that tore him from his feet, hurling him into a wall. He rose back up in time to deflect a volley of lasers. Six Doombots lunged at the Captain, but before he had time to throw his shield the bots were struck down by repulsor blasts that rained from the sky.

“You’re getting slow in your old age, Cap,” a metallic voice said. Captain America smiled before he looked up to see Iron Man, who floated above him. “What would you guys do without me?”

“Have more quiet days. What’s going on in the sky?” Cap asked.

“We’re losing, that’s what’s going on,” Tony replied. “Doom used some kind of pulse to knock more of our fliers out of the sky. Thor’s been busy creating thunderstorms so that Doom’s satellites can’t lock onto us, but he’s been assaulted from every side. Even a god can’t keep that up forever. If we don’t get in there soon, we might not make it in at all.”

“Right. Reed, this is Cap. Are you through the shield yet?”

“Negative, Cap. This…this is beyond anything I’ve ever seen Doom do before. It could take me weeks to figure out how to crack this encryption.”

“You’ve got ten minutes. Well, that’s not going to work,” Cap said to Tony. “Any idea?”

“Throw your shield at it?”

“Any helpful ideas?”

“Perhaps I can be of assistance.” Cap and Iron Man looked behind them to see a man in a long cloak appear out of a portal behind them. “The ion shield he is using to guard the upper half of his castle is composed of science and magic. Perhaps that is why Mr. Richards cannot get through on his own.”

“I thought Doom banished you to the realm of Dormammou. How did you escape?” Tony asked.

“I bargained with him. Now stand back.” Strange held his hands up to the barrier before the three, muttering incantations and weaving spells with his fingers. Then, with an effort that shook the very castle, Strange let out a roar and pulled a gap in the barrier. “Hurry. Can’t…hold it…long.”

“Let’s go old man, time to toss a tyrant off his throne!”

“Close the shield after us and support the rest of the heroes!” Cap ordered. Tony led the charge into the upper area of Castle Doom, with Cap right behind him. The two advanced slowly at first, with Tony using his suit to scan for traps, yet found nothing that wanted to kill them. “You’re saying that there are no death traps, army of robots or magical monstrosity that wants to kill us? That can only mean…”

“Yeah, Doom’s letting us enter. Stay on guard or-“

Tony’s words were cut short by a massive explosion that went off above the castle. The two Avengers ran to the window just in time to see a figure pierce the cloud cover as he fell from the heavens, his hammer trailing behind him like a comet.

“Thor just went down, meaning the satellites will be operational shortly,” Cap said matter of fact. “We need to hurry.”

“Follow me. My scanners have picked up where Doom is,” Tony replied. Cap and Tony raced through the castle, past hallways and the throne room, before finally reaching the stairs that led down into Doom’s personal chambers. To his stronghold.

‘Sir, if I may?’ Jarvis said from within Tony’s helmet. ‘Doctor Doom is an S level threat, one that would require all of the Avengers to stand against. Yet it is only you and Captain Rogers. I would advise waiting for backup before going to confront him.’

“If we don’t confront him now Jarvis, there may not be anyone left to back us up,” Tony replied. He and Cap shared a nod before the two headed down, Tony leading the way with Cap behind him. The stairs led to a massive chamber, one that was nearly as big as the hallways they had passed. Shelves full of potions decorated one side of the room while computers that would make Ultron look obsolete were stacked up against the other. Yet both Avengers eyes were drawn to the figure who stood before a massive, green vortex of energy nearly the size of a house. He wore a green hood and cloak over a metal suit that covered everything. Everything except for his eyes, which were mad, powerful and filled with nothing but sheer confidence.

“Doctor Doom,” Tony spat, walking forward towards the villain.

“Tony Stark. Captain Rogers. I am surprised. Not that you have managed to reach Doom, but that you would be so foolish as to come alone,” Doom replied. His hands were spread out over the vortex, green tendrils of energy descending from his fingers into the spiral. Behind him a control panel flashed as it registered Doom’s actions. “But where are Doom’s manners? Please, sit and rest. You must be weary from storming a foreign country without consent from the U.N. How will you attest for your crimes?”

“Our crimes?! How about what you’ve done in the past week alone! Espionage, slavery, endangerment of human lives, assault on foreign soil, near global annihilation and an uncountable number of murders!” Stark seethed, before his voice dropped to a whisper. “Including Charles Xavier, Amadeus Cho and…and…May, Mary Jane and Peter Parker.”

“Doom regrets that their lives have been lost, but Doom needed the scientific secrets that only their minds held,” Doom replied. He then crossed his arms and stared down at the vortex, smiling beneath his metal mask. “And they died knowing that their sacrifice will help Doom. Help Doom ascend to the godhood that has been denied to him for too long. And in doing so, I shall save the world. They would be proud.”

“Proud? PROUD?!” Stark roared, but before he could attack a shield was placed to his chest to hold him back.

“Five innocent people, including two non-powered civilians. I don’t need the U.N., the ability to see the future or even the Avengers to know what to do next,” Cap said, crouching slightly and lifting his shield. Behind it, he moved his fingers in a certain way for only Tony to see. “Today you answer, Doom. Answer for all the crimes you have committed.”

“Ever the idealist, Captain. Doom answers…to no one!”

Doom raised both of his hands and shot blast of both magic and science from them. Cap was already in motion, placing himself between the blasts and Tony, taking the attack right on the shield. The blasts couldn’t even scratch the shield, but it was enough to rip the Captain from his feet and throw him into the wall.

But that opening was all Tony needed to activate his repulsors and hurl himself at Doom, tackling the doctor and driving him into the wall. Iron Man aimed a palm at Doom’s head, yet with ease Doom grabbed Iron Man’s wrist and aimed it at the ceiling, where his repulsor blast fired. Doom slammed his mask into Tony’s helmet, knocking him back before a kick to the gut sent Tony skidding backwards.

Iron Man raised both palms and fired them at Doom, only to be halted by a green barrier that formed around Doom. The doctor laughed as Tony fired again and again, only to be met with more mocking laughter.

‘Mr. Stark, I would recommend we reconsider our plan of attack,’ Jarvis said. ‘We cannot win this fight. Doctor Doom is your superior in nearly every way.’

“Way to be the wind beneath my wings, Jarvis,” Tony spat. His repulsors on his hands and feet fired up, rocketing him into the air in time to avoid an attack from Doom. Tony flew around the doctor, blasting him on all sides to no avail

‘Please listen to me, sir. Doom has a better suit, more advanced technology, access to magic which can rival Doctor Strange, and, as impossible as this may sound, his ego is even greater than yours.’

“But is he better looking than me?” Tony asked as he narrowly avoided a magical blast.

‘Um, considering Victor’s face was burned and mutilated when he attached his mask, I would have to say no.’

“Then we’ve got an advantage. And all I need is one advantage to turn this around!”

“Why both, Stark? Listen to your butler. Despite his status it seems he is smarter than you,” Doom mocked. “Your weapons and suit are outdated in my home. The only reason Doom has not slain you is because I show mercy to my guests, even if they do not deserve it.”

“Like the same mercy you showed to May and Mary Jane?!”

Doom turned around in time to take a red, white and blue disc to the face, cutting through his shield and staggering him. Doom’s shields could stand up to anything possible within the universe. But Cap’s shield was simply impossible.

Doom rallied and aimed a hand at Cap, but before he could fire a red and gold suit slammed into him from behind and flew the doctor into the ceiling. Tony gripped both of Dooms arms with his own, while his chest glowed with a blinding light.

“UNIBEAM!”

The concentrated repulsor blast hurled Doom across the room and into his computers, which exploded as their master crashed through them. Yet an instant later, Doom stood up without so much as a scratch on him.

“Very well Stark, know that Doom’s mercy is at an end. For now you shall die-“

“Warning. Power Cosmic syphon deactivated. Self-destruct commencing. “

Doom’s eyes widened as his head snapped towards his vortex. The one responsible for shutting down his vortex stood at the control panel…and Captain America saluted him with a smirk.

“But…but you…technology…”

“Doom, I’ve been in the twenty first century for over a decade now. I’ve had plenty of time to learn.”

“Self-destruct imminent. One minute.”

“Fools, this will not be the end! Doom will rise again!” Doom roared. Thrusters erupted from his feet and he flew towards the ceiling, only to be stopped once again by the armored avenger.

“No Doom, it’s like the old man said. Today you answer for all that you’ve done!” Tony roared. He and Doom battled in the air, dragging themselves closer to the ground. Cap tried to get close, but the vortex began to explode and prevented him from helping.

“Fool! Doom will simply kill you and escape! You are no match for Doom!” Doctor Doom roared, slamming a magic infused fist into Tony’s face.

‘He’s right, sir. You cannot defeat Doom.’

“I can’t…but I bet that can!” Tony then grabbed hold of Doom and activated an energy pulse, blasting Doom’s suit with repulsor energy. While it couldn’t damage Doom, it was enough to stun him. Which was all Tony needed. Tony dragged the dictator down to the vortex, giving it everything he had to take Doom down. And it was right before he succeeded that Cap realized his plan.

“TONY! NO!”

“Sorry, Cap. Whatever it takes.” With one last push, Tony drove both he and Doom into the vortex, the two of them instantly consumed by it.

And then the whole vortex exploded.

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