Not Another Iron Man Fanfiction *revised*
I admit it shouldn’t have been the first decision I made. But I had to do something. I was up the stairs before I had time to rethink the situation and dragging down the metal abomination I had constructed. In the garage, my hands moved before I could stop them—opening drawers, scrabbling for screws, examining and tossing pieces of armor, flicking holoscreens left and right.
Isabella, stop, you’re not thinking this through! A weak voice in my head urged, as a stronger one insisted You have to get to Tony and help him! Even if it means…
“In theory,” I said aloud, more to reassure myself than anything, “this should work.”
I turned and looked in the mirror. My armor covered me head to foot, reassembled and ready to fly. But this time was not a test drive. And there were more risks than even I could hope to equate.
"I do hope it is not too late to discourage you from this course of action," JARVIS said as I powered on.
"JARVIS! Tony is out there, probably in danger, and so are a whole bunch of people--do you want me to sit here and do nothing?!" Great, I was arguing with a robot. "Look, nothing you say is gonna make me change my mind. I'm going, but I need your help. Come on, Jarv."
I could have sworn there was a reluctant pause.
“I am always at your service, Miss Stark,” JARVIS finally responded.
Whoever thought I’d get to fly a suit before getting a driver’s license?
In any case, I was able to make it to the Expo, even if I was little too late. There were drones and panicked people everywhere. It was a nightmare, and I couldn't help thinking what Granduncle Howard would say. People looked up, probably expecting to see Iron Man, but they were surprised. Because I was definitely NOT Iron Man. On my way I blasted as many drones as I could here and there, just to test out the repulsors more than anything—and I was thrilled that they were actually quite effective. The suit worked perfectly-- except that after all this, I was pretty sure my mom would kill me.
Oh well-- better her than a Hammerdrone.
The drones were tough, but I figured that if you got them in the head and back, they were pretty much dead. Things got crazy when they started chasing me too. At first I thought it was because I was a threat, but JARVIS told me they weren't. They were programmed to eliminate whoever was wearing the Iron Man suit--or anything like it.
“Is there any way I can possibly lose these guys?” I said urgently to JARVIS.
“You’re using only 70% of the overall speed capability,” it responded.
I sighed. “Well, it’s not like there’s any traffic enforcement up here! Full power, now!”
It was like the wild rush of a rollercoaster drop. I blazed a path over the Expo—and possibly through the sound barrier. The skin on my face threatened to peel off at the speed, but in spite of that, I laughed. This was the BEST THING EVER.
JARVIS provided Tony's location for me and mentioned that Rhodey, in a modified Mark 2 armor, was there as well. I soon found them in a lush greenhouse garden and landed, rather clumsily, on a mossy rock behind them.
I got a barrage of gunfire in the face almost immediately.
I crossed my arms in front of my face. "Hey, hey, HEY! It's me! Guys, chill!"
“Hold on a sec,” said Tony in surprise. He and Rhodey stopped firing.
I looked up. "That's better."
"Wait a minute--" began Rhodey. He and Tony both flipped open their face masks. And their reactions under there were priceless.
“HOW!?” was my uncle’s reaction, having finally gotten over the initial shock.
“I can explain—“
“Exactly what part of ‘I don’t like people taking my stuff’ did you NOT understand?” he demanded, striding over to me. "I thought I told you to stay home!"
"I got attacked by a couple of drones," I stated as calmly as I could.
"And you came HERE? With that mess on you? I should have thrown that thing in the incinerator--”
"Hey,” I said defensively, “it works.”
"You shouldn't be here," said Rhodey, cutting in. "We've got this, kid. Don't get involved."
“You know what, pal? Never mind," said Tony. He turned to me. "You want to be an Iron Girl?
Take your shot."
I put my faceplate down. "Oh, you bet."
"You can't be serious," said Rhodey.
"I have to be.” Tony was halfway between resignation and frustration. “Remember there's a
bunch of drones we have to deal with right now and we need all the extra firepower we can get. Iz, I hope to God you're ready for this."
"Oh, I am."
That's when the first drone landed. Then another, then another. Whatever it is that usually hit the fan had finally hit the fan.
They attacked. So did we.
"I admit this isn't the best way for us to bond," said Tony amidst the intense gunfire.
"It's actually pretty fun!" I said.
"Fun?" he snapped, turning and taking out a drone with an angry left hook. "FUN??"
"Never mind!" I blasted a drone's head clean off. "Aaaaand FIFTY points if you get it in the
Rhodey was already a one-man army by himself, but no one has eyes in the back of their head, and I switched position swiftly so I could watch their backs. As two drones came up from behind, I made quick work of them.
“Where did those come from?” Tony said, surprised as they collapsed on the grass.
“Way to go, Isabella,” Rhodey chuckled, and I grinned underneath my helmet.
"How did you deal with the ones that attacked you?" asked Tony.
"I ran them over with one of your cars, blasted ‘em with an extra repulsor..." I said.
"You're impossible," he muttered, smashing a drone in the chest.
"Just like you, buddy," said Rhodey.
Tony ignored him. "Guys, get down."
Rhodey and I ducked as Tony unleashed a powerful laser from his gauntlet, cutting down the remaining drones around us. In less than a minute we were surrounded by smoking pieces of metal.
I got up and lifted my faceplate. "Damn."
"I think you should lead with that one next time," commented Rhodey.
Tony put down his arm. "Sorry, that's a one-off. Can only be used once, done once." He turned to me. “And as for you--You're going home."
"Going HOME?" I said. "Wait, there's more, right?"
Tony cocked his head as if listening to something from within his helmet. “That was just Natalie.”
“Natalie has a direct line to your suit?” Rhodey said.
“Apparently, since she’s a SHIELD agent, Natalie has direct lines to everywhere,” said Tony.
“Natalie’s a SHIELD agent?” I said surprised.
Tony pulled off his helmet and activated a loudspeaker mode. Natalie’s voice immediately came on. “...more drones stationed in an outlying warehouse, a contingency unit of about twenty. I’d try to shut them down, but it looks like they’re programmed to follow a more powerful drone already on its way to you. I can’t get access.”
“What do you need?” Tony asked, as Rhodey and I glanced at each other, both confused at this news.
“Someone to contain the drones to this location only!” Natalie replied urgently. “They activate in about three minutes. I think the drone heading towards you is Vanko in a suit. Shut him down, and you shut the rest down. But between then and now, someone has to stop the drones from flying out of here. I'm on my way now.”
“I can do that,” I said at once. “I can buy you time.”
“Twenty drones?” said Tony incredulously. “I think it’d be better if Rhodey—“
“I need you guys FAST!” Natalie shouted from the speaker, accompanied by the urgent sound of running footsteps. “Two minutes, fifty seconds!”
“I can’t get there in time, the War Machine’s too bulky for that,” Rhodey put in.
“I don’t care which one of you you send, just send them now!” Natalie snapped.
“Right, and I don’t want you anywhere near Vanko when this goes down,” Tony said to me grimly. “He’s not programmed like his robots are. He could be a whole lot worse.”
“You better get out of here,” Rhodey said. “Tony and I can take him.”
Fear suddenly clenched around my stomach. Not fear for my own safety, but for Tony and Rhodey’s. There was no telling what Vanko would do—he was a person, not a drone, and he could go farther and be crueler than any robot was programmed to be.
Tony must have seen me catch my breath because he approached me and put a hand on my shoulder.
“You gotta go,” he said. “We’ll be fine. And if we’re not—“
“Don’t you dare,” I said, shaking my head.
“—Hey, we got this far, and so did you,” Tony said.
I looked up at him, feeling at last that I had not only his trust, but his belief as well. And something worth fighting for. Finally.
*a reference to Harry Potter's Moaning Myrtle :))