• Published 11th Sep 2019
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The Tin Man - Onomonopia

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Kansas

Tony awoke with a start.

He wasn’t sure what had caused him to wake up so suddenly. Was it the pain that burned nearly every inch of his body? Was it the voice of his robotic butler, whose words Tony couldn’t make out? Or was it the fact that he was dangling, upside down nearly a hundred feet off the ground, suspended only by a single vine that was clearly working overtime to support the suits weight?

Whatever the reason, still wasn’t the worst way he had started a morning.

“Good morning Jarvis, what seems to be the problem?” Tony asked.

‘The problem, sir, is that you are currently suspended one hundred and five feet off the ground, held up by a single piece of foliage and your suit is running only on emergency power. If you fall from this height, even you might finally die.’

A hundred and five feet? Now Tony knew he wasn’t doing too good. If he couldn’t make out a simple calculation like that then things clearly weren’t good.

“How much power are we working with?”

‘About five percent. Emergency only.’

“Good enough. I’m gonna cut the vine.”

‘What? Sir, I must-‘

“Doing it.”

A small blade extended from the suit around the wrist area and Tony slashed through the vine with ease. Gravity immediately showed it was still working and a moment later Tony landed flat on his back, the Iron Man suit absorbing most of the impact. Of course, pain still rocketed through Tony.

“Oh, that was a bad idea. Put that in the bad ideas folder Jarvis.”

‘Which one of the bad idea folders, sir? There are so many.’

Tony slowly forced himself up to his feet, his sluggishness showing him just how damaged the suit was. He started to look around, smirking when he saw his scanners were offline as well, noticing that he was in some kind of forest or jungle. One of the forest that surrounded Latveria? No, there was nothing trying to kill him, which was the main attraction in Latveria. A neighboring country, perhaps?

‘This forest does not match any in my known database. However, there may be an even greater problem at the moment.’

“What’s that?”

‘I cannot connect anyone. There is no wifi, no radio waves…no trace of any kind of technology that would be easy to find on our Earth. I have even tried contacting the Avengers on Doctor Strangers glyph stones and even those do nothing. No contact with anyone we know. Therefor, sir, I can only come to one conclusion.’

“Don’t say it.”

‘We have been transported to an alternate reality.’

“Aaaaand you said it,” Tony sighed. “An alternate reality? Great, perfect way to start off Tuesday. Alright, so we have little power, no connections and I think I landed on my keys. We’ve done more with less. Jarvis, activate the solar panels. The sun is high and I want this suit recharged as quickly as I can.”

‘I activated them the moment I came back online,’ Jarvis replied.

“Good. Now then, let’s see if my boy scout training can help us figure where we are,” Tony said. He looked left, then right, then shrugged his shoulders. “Alright, I’ve got it. We’re lost. Okay, pick a direction Jarvis.”

‘North.’

“North it is.”

Tony started to trek through the forest, moving awkwardly as he did so. The Iron Man suit was near unbeatable in the air and an incredible force of might on the ground. But, with so little power in such uneven terrain, at the moment all it seemed to be was an extra weight on Tony’s shoulders for him to carry.

“Hey Jarvis, did you happen to see what happened after we went into Doom’s vortex? I remember dragging him in there, a massive explosion and then I wake up upside down.”

‘Negative, sir. I went offline around the same time you did…however, if you managed to survive the explosion…’

“Then Doom might have also. Alright, we need to start moving a little faster. Can I go airborne yet?”

‘No sir, we are at seven percent power. Enough for maybe a few repulsor blasts, but flying is still beyond us and…and…’

“Jarvis?”

‘I am picking up a strange energy reading sir. Similar to the energy readings of Doctor Strange. Magic. Not far from here, just up ahead.’

“Intelligent?”

‘I cannot tell.’

“Well then, let’s go an introduce ourselves. A man in a giant suit of armor with a helmet covering his face walks out of the woods and extends his hand. Can’t see anything going wrong with that.” Tony picked up the pace a bit, and then was immediately slowed down by tripping over some roots, until he spied a clearing at the edge of the forest. Despite Jarvis warning him to take it slow, he walked straight out into the sunlight and got his first look of the sentient beings of this world.

And it still wasn’t the strangest thing he had seen.

Staring up at him were five, multicolored horses. Two had horns, one had wings and the other got the short end of the stick and had nothing. The one with wings carried a spear and wore armor, if Tony could even call it that, while the others wore robes. The one with nothing was dragging a sack on the ground, with the rope tied around his waist. And again, they were horses.

For a moment both sides just stared at each other. Then Tony had the good idea to open his mouth.

“Greetings. I come in peace. Take me to your leader,” Tony said to break the ice. The horses responded in an appropriate manner.

“Monster! Attack!”

“No, not a monster! Human! I’m human!” Tony argued. The horses carrying the spear lunged at Iron Man and struck him in the chest, which did exact what one would expect. Tony grabbed the end of the spear and snapped it off, leaving the horse to see how Donatello constantly felt.

“Kill the golem!” one of the unicorns said before firing a blast of energy into Iron Man. Tony grunted as the suit took the impact, getting him to stagger back. So that was the magic Jarvis had been talking about.

“Not golem! Human!” Tony replied. He dodged a blast of magic, impressive given how slow he was moving, before he lifted a hand and blasted the unicorn in the chest with a repulsor blast. The blast was on a low setting, and Tony didn’t have the power for a higher blast, so all it did was knock the pony back and drop him to the ground. Of course, this show of power didn’t go over too well with the others.

“By the princesses, what dark magic was that?” the boring, regular pony asked.

“I do not know. I felt no spells, heard no incantation and see no relic for it to be using! This…human…is an abomination of nature!”

“Now you’re just being mean. Look, I keep trying to tell you, I’m not a monster, I’m…”

Tony’s words died off when he noticed that the sack seemed to be moving. He rerouted more of his power into his helmet to activate his scanners, which showed him that there was another horse in the sack. One that was bound, gagged and was slightly bleeding. Then he turned his gaze to the remaining horses, able to now see strange knives, vials of something and books that looked like they belonged in the pits of hell. He put two and two together real quick.

“So that explains what you were doing out in the middle of nowhere looking like you missed a wizard convention. You’re cultists. And that there is your sacrifice,” Tony said. He nodded his head for a second before the inside of his helmet and his suits eyes turned red. “You’re dead.”

Iron Man fired a repulsor blast from his feet, rocketing him forward so he could slam his fist into the jaw of a cultist. Bone shattered from the impact and the cultist went spinning away, leaving only two left. The winged horses attacked with his stick, but this time Iron Man caught it and ripped it from the pony’s grasp. He then grabbed the horse by the neck and slammed it into the ground, knocking both the air and consciousness from his body. All that left was one of the unicorns.

“I call upon the power of Celestia!” the unicorn roared. His horn began to glow with an otherworldly power and the air around him began to boil. Iron Man was debating if he should simply take the blast or dodge it when the unicorn decided for him. Vines erupted from the ground and wrapped around his feet, rooting the Avenger in place. “Now die!”

“Well this sucks,” Tony grunted before he crossed his arms. The magical blast caught Iron Man in the chest, bombarding the armor with a continuous beam of magic. Yet mixed within the magic was solar energy, stolen directly from the sun itself. And the Iron Man suit absorbed that sunlight hungrily.

‘Sir, power is at fifteen percent and rising. It seems that whatever this horse has mixed in with his magic is fueling the suit,’ Jarvis reported.

“Alright, how about we show this glue stick what a real beam looks like!” Iron man then threw his arms to the side and fired out a beam of blue energy right from his chest, piercing through the unicorn’s magic and blasting the unicorn away. The pony slammed into the side of a tree, where his smoldering body slumped to the ground. The scanners showed he was alive, but only just.

“Another day, another group of cultists that I’ve stopped,” Tony said. He stretched himself out, his mobility returning now that the suit had more power. He then walked over the sack and fried the knot on top, before ripping the sack open to see the pony underneath. She, it’s always a she the cultists sacrifice, wasn’t anything special, a green mare with a yellow mane and a weird pencil tattoo near her rear.

“Hey, are you alright?” he asked. She groaned and started to move, which Tony aided by ripping off the ropes and gag. He scanned her injured head to find it was only a mild bruise, nothing life threatening. She finally opened her eyes and looked up, right into the metal face of Iron Man.

“Hi, name’s Iron Man. Just saved your life from those cultists that kidnapped…marenapped…that grabbed you. You’re welcome.”

For a full five seconds the mare just stared at Iron Man. Then she let out a shriek and scrambled to her hooves, tearing off in the opposite direction of Tony.

‘That does not seem the appropriate reaction to one who just saved your life,’ Jarvis commented.

“Hey, she just got to meet and get saved by Iron Man. Poor thing probably panicked and ran off. She’ll be embarrassed when she calms down later,” Tony said, shrugging.

‘Warning. Another life form approaching.’

Tony glanced over his shoulder at the approaching figure, an eyebrow raising under his mask when he saw what it was. It was a small, frail centaur with red and black fur, and a brown cloak covering the upper half of his body. His head came up to Tony’s chest and Tony couldn’t see his face, though his scanners worked out a replica a moment later.

“A centaur? Ah great, is this another one of the pranks from the Olympic gods? Did they send me to one of their bizarre worlds again?” Tony asked, looking up at the sky. “Alright Zeus, jokes over. Bring me back right now or else I’m going to bust out the armor I’ve saved for Thor the next time he challenges me.”

“Greetings, stranger,” the centaur greeted. His voice matched his body. Old, frail and something hidden underneath. “I have traveled these lands for many years yet I must admit that you surprise me. It is not everyday that one meets an armored human such as yourself.”

“Finally, someone who knows what a human is,” Tony replied. “Yeah, I’m kinda new around here and am apparently a long way from home. Like, a dimension or two removed. You know an interdimensional vortex or cosmic wielding being that I can talk to.”

“Um, no, I am afraid I do not know anypony with that kind of power. But I must say, you are quite strong yourself to deal with those cultists with such little effort,” the centaur said, motioning to the bodies. “I saw that they had taken that poor mare, so I followed at a distance. Alas, my strength is not what it once was, so I could not free her myself. Good thing you came along when you did.”

“Yeah, saving people is kinda my thing. So back to the dimension problem, is there no one that can help me?”

“Well…the princesses in Canterlot may be able to help you, but they are a surly bunch and do not like to be disturbed. They won’t see anyone without a reference or appointment,” the centaur muttered, stroking his beard. “But since you seem like a good soul, I’ll tell you what. Just tell them that Tirek sent you and they’ll drop everything to see you. Trust me.”

“Tirek, huh? Alright, you creepy, old goat, I think I’ll do that. Which way is…thanks,” Tony said when Tirek pointed a finger.

“City on a mountain. Impossible to miss.”

“Alright then, I’m taking off,” Tony said. His repulsors roared to life and a moment later he was airborne, floating over Tirek. “And you should probably take off too. I clobbered these guys good, but they will wake up eventually and I have no idea how law enforcement works in this world.”

“Do not worry, I will make sure they do not harm anypony. I was quite the fighter back in the day,” Tirek smiled.

“Uh-huh. Welp, see you.”

Iron Man pointed towards the sky and rocketed off, leaving Tirek with both eyebrows raised as the armored man flew away. He then shook his head. “A human in this day and age. Truly must be a sign of the end times.” Then the centaur looked at the bodies all around him and he opened his mouth hungrily. “But it would be such a shame for their magic to go to waste. And I am…hungry.”

“Hey Jarvis?”

‘Yes, Mr. Stark?’

“That Tirek guy was a total weirdo, right?”

‘Absolutely.’


It was a perfect day for Ashgrove. He had graduated the top of his class, his antlers were finally starting to grow in, he could nearly perform magic and Serenity had agreed to go to the Forest Festival with him. The young deer held his head high as he walked through the forest, knowing nothing could take him down.

Then he smelled something. Something that gave every deer pause for concern. The smell of something burning. Concern flashed over his face as he followed the smell, afraid that the forest may have caught fire. But the burning smell wasn’t of smoke. It smelled more like…metal?

Ashgrove walked into a clearing in the forest and found the source of the burning smell. Laying face down in the center was a figure the likes of which he had never seen. It wore a green cloak, had a metal suit that covered nearly its entire body and gave off a magical aura that made the young deer very nervous.

Yet he could also hear it breathing and occasionally gasping in pain. And despite the creature being like nothing he had never seen, his mother had raised him to help all in need. So he swallowed his fear and walked over to the creature.

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