- Aug 13, 2005
- Reaction score
After a few long months, I'm finally back to work on the story! Look for a new chapter tomorrow!
dang, u brought classic 80s doctor who into it, i dig!The endgame has changed!
You know me?
I do. You’re not the only one cursed with knowledge.
My only curse is you.
It wasn’t a nightmare; it was a memory. Several of them played like a bad clip show in Stark’s subconscious. The Chitauri invasion, flying through the wormhole while carrying a nuclear missile, and – worst of all – losing his battle with Thanos. He still felt all the hits, mostly the ones that busted through his armor.
The memory of that last critical blow snapped him awake.
At first, he thought he was still on Titan…or dead. But the space felt different. It was more accommodating than the planet’s harsh, gravity-light climate. He was even lying in a cushy bed.
Then there was the banjo soothingly being strummed.
Tony tried sitting up to see who was playing. It was difficult at first, even while stripped of his armor – having been punched by a giant purple alien tended to leave some nasty damages, but thankfully nothing serious. As much pain as he had been through since the days of having shrapnel piercing his heart, nothing could’ve been worse.
The individual serenading on the banjo was someone more famous than him.
Kermit the Frog.
He was sitting on a stool inside the Victorian-style bedroom Tony awoke in, albeit with white walls that had a roundel pattern design. The frog had been strumming the first few chords of “Rainbow Connection” during the duration of Stark’s unconscious state, until he finally looked up and saw him alert.
“Ah, you’re awake,” he said. “We wondered when you would be.”
“Yeah,” Tony groaned. “I wondered that, too. How long have I been out?”
“That doesn’t sound so bad.”
“Uh, you didn’t let me finish. What I meant to say was ‘Seven hours, five days, and ten weeks’.”
Stark found the duration just as bewildering as the way in which it was delivered. “You know, normally people start with the weeks first before going into the days and hours,” he told Kermit. “The whole ‘biggest to smallest’ thing.”
He proceeded to get out of bed – something that Kermit didn’t agree with.
“I wouldn’t move around too much, Mr. Stark,” the frog advised.
“Being out for ten weeks, five days, and seven hours, I feel that I’m inclined to move around as much as I please, Mr. the Frog.” Stark stumbled on his first step out of bed, prompting Kermit to set aside his banjo and offer himself as a crutch, even though Tony was twice his size.
Whoever’s job it was to get Tony out of his armor made extra sure to keep him comfortable, as even his shoes were removed, exposing them to the ice-cold steel flooring (which seemed to vibrate beneath the soles of Stark’s feet). The only attire he had on was his hoodie, his black shirt with the detachable arc reactor still attached to his chest, and the matching black slacks.
“Where is it you’re trying to get to?” Kermit asked him, struggling to maintain Stark’s balance.
“To see the Doctor,” Tony replied.
“A doctor or the doctor?”
“That unbelievably attractive English blonde in the trench coat and rainbow-striped shirt. I want to see her.”
Obliging to the Iron Man’s demands, Kermit guided him through the complex structure of the TARDIS. Winding through so many endless twists and turns, there was no way Tony would’ve managed to navigate it alone. He wondered how long Kermit himself traveled in it to know his way around. Then again, Muppets were adaptable to crazy environments.
They finally made it to the console room – the last room Tony remembered being in before he lost consciousness. Its alien, crystalline structure was spellbinding to his tech-savvy eyes. The real beauty, of course, stood at the center of the room with the main control console.
When she noticed Tony entering with Kermit, the Doctor smiled. “Oh, hello, Mr. Stark! Glad to see you up! We wondered when you would be.”
“Was there a bet going?” Tony inquired.
The Doctor didn’t quite catch his drift. “I beg your pardon?”
Looking past her, Stark was surprised to see Thanos’s big, shiny gauntlet situated upon the control console. “How did you guys do it?”
“Do what?” Kermit asked.
“Take the big purple sociopath himself down,” Stark clarified.
The Doctor followed his gaze on the gauntlet, finally understanding. “Oh! No…well, yes, but we didn’t do it. He did it to himself. Got sucked into the time vortex. Unfortunately, he took the Space Stone with him. But don’t worry…we still have four: Time, Power, Soul, and Reality.”
“That just leaves the Space and Mind Stones,” Stark figured.
“Right,” the Doctor concurred. “Luckily, we’ve pinpointed their location to one place in time: 1981 London.”
“Wait a sec, I recognize that time and place,” Kermit beamed. “That’s the time of the Baseball Diamond Caper – when Fozzie, Gonzo, and I were reporters for The Daily Chronicle and covered a story on the wealthy Lady Holiday.”
“Nice exposition,” Stark complimented.
“Thanks,” Kermit remarked.
“You three weren’t the only ones there, Kermit,” the Doctor clarified. “I was there with a couple of friends of my own…and you’ll never guess who else was there.”
-------------------The Happiness Hotel seemed to be getting a lot of business in a single day. Pops, the hotel owner, had already greeted a trio of peculiar characters: a frog, a bear, and some kind of weird blue chicken-thing carrying a camera and snapping away at everything in sight. They literally crashed in a taxicab – the hole was still in the lobby wall.
Then there arrived three more new occupants: a young blonde, a young boy, and a man dressed in burgundy attire that included a fedora, a long coat, and an even longer scarf. Pops heard the man’s two young friends address him as “Doctor.”
“Doctor, eh?” the hotel owner said. “Ya mind lookin’ at somethin’ that’s been botherin’ me all week? I can’t seem tuh figure out what might be the—”
“I’m afraid we haven’t the time, my friend,” the Doctor interjected. “We won’t be staying long, just long enough to work with a couple of scientists whose help we need: Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant, Beaker.”
“You mean those two yahoos on the third floor?” Pops asked.
“Yahoos?” the Doctor’s young male friend repeated. “What’s a ‘yahoo’?”
“And what are those?”
Seeing no end in sight to Adric’s curiosity of the terms (he was a mathematician, not a wordsmith), the Doctor’s other friend (the young blonde) hurriedly told Pops, “We’ll just take the key to our room now.”
“Thank you, Romana,” the gracious Doctor acknowledged.
“I’ll take mine as well.”
All heads turned to a gentleman who stood behind the Doctor and his companions. A tall, lanky man with pale skin and shoulder-length hair that was as black as the clothes he wore. Adric picked up a foreboding vibe just from looking at him.
“Boy-oh-boy, you folks are comin’ out of the woodwork, ain’t ya?” Pops said.
He handed the Doctor and the darkly-dressed gentleman their hotel keys, and the bellhop rats showed them their rooms. The long-haired gentleman was staying directly across from the Doctor and his friends. As soon as he was in his room, he dismissed the rats, “That’ll be all.”
One of the rodents purposefully cleared his throat, sticking his tiny hand out.
The gentleman scoffed as he noticed the gesture. “Might I offer you a tip in another variety: Never beg for what you can simply take for yourself.”
“Stay here long enough and I just might, buddy,” the rat warned prior to leaving.
Alone in his hotel room, the darkly-dressed gentleman changed his apparel, but not in the manner most normal people did. His black suit shimmered in a bright golden hue, morphing into a royal garb complete with a horned headdress. Two items also manifested in his hands: a long scepter with a gem embedded in its sharp bladed tip and a cube that sparked with blue cosmic energy.
Let’s see what London of 1981 has to offer the God of Mischief.
TO BE CONTINUED...