"I'm going to kill Thor" Toni spoke out to herself just to hear her voice. Whatever creepy alien world she'd been thrown into was as quiet as death.
This definitely scored somewhere in her top five of Toni's 'Holy Shit, Why Me' list. This had to be a three, maybe a two. It was sure as hell ranked above Howard's 'I know it's a boy Maria, the name is Anthony' and filling out the birth certificate before she was even born bullshit.
Howard, what a gem he was. As soon as she hit 18 she legally dropped that shit, opting to go with Toni with an i since she nicknamed herself that anyway. The teasing had been relentless when she was younger.
But this was all Thor's fault. Thor and his stupid, noble, 'hey let's save everyone in the universe' attitude. If she died in this alien wilderness she would come back to haunt him til the end of his days. She totally would find a way, even if she had to make a deal with Mistress Death she'd torment him for eternity!
This shit show started when Thor crashed down on the landing pad of the Avenger's tower, seeking their assistance in yet another battle with Thanos and whatever new army he'd aquired since the Avengers had decimated the Chitari. At first Toni assumed Asgard was under attack again, but this time the Mad Titan had set his sights on some poor underdeveloped planet that was ripe with magic. They had sent out a few soldier bees to seek assistance from the closest planet, or in this case the floating realm of Asgard.
Thor, God love him, had promised immediate aid as he had fought battles against the Titan before, and rainbowed down to Earth to bring his Avenging buddies along for the ride.
Now, since they couldn't leave Earth unattended only a chosen few were sent to aid the Krannepta, as Thor called them, on their lovely little planet called Nestragua. Where the hell these places kept popping up from she'd never know. At least these aliens were a pretty color though, like shiny turquoise jewelry.
Toni was, luckily (sarcasm), one of the chosen ones. She, along with Thor, Cap, Hulk and Strange were zapped off to the Land of Oz to deal with the big purple asshole once again. While her other marvelous teammates got to stay home and enjoy their peace and solitude back on spaceship Earth.
The assholes.. Sam better not eat all of her apple tarts again while she was gone.
It should have been an easy fight, seeing as they'd kicked his ass twice before, but the Mad Titan must have found a way to suck up the planets magic and make himself even more powerful. No sooner then they landed the overgrown prune managed to knock out the Iron Man armor. She really should change the name since her identity was no longer a secret and the world knew who the pilot was now, but Iron Man just had a nice ring to it. So fuck it, she'd gotten used to it.
Anywho, prune had taken her down almost instantly, no power, no Jarvis absolutely nothing. Then mere seconds later he overpowered Dr. Strange. Somehow binding his magical abilities up in a tidy little bow leaving a defenseless and bewildered Strange in the middle of the battlefield. The Cloak of Levatation hanging lifeless on his shoulders.
But that, that wasn't even the worst part. While Toni twitched on the ground like a tortoise on it's back and a powerless Doctor tried to find cover, Thanos opened up a weird portal similar to how Stephen does, and grabbed Strange and tossed him roughly through. Now, where the hell her supposed team was at this moment she had no idea, probably fighting the rest of the Titans army, but no one came to her aid as the Titan came toward her with his evil smile.
The last thing she remembered was him flinging here like a rag doll through the portal. She remembered falling toward a dark forest below and praying the armor was strong enough to keep her from dying on impact. Then there was blackness.
She didn't know how long she was out for but it was nearly dark as she was falling and when she woke there were three suns in the sky above her. She had a bitch of a headache and hoped her brain was in one piece. She'd had enough concussions to last her a lifetime. She was also lying in her own impact crater.
At least the armor held up nicely, She had reinforced it after Rhodey's crippling accident.
"Jarvis? Can you hear me?"
There was no power to the armor and for once she was glad she had the reactor removed from her chest a year ago or she'd be a dead woman. She lay there a while longer before deciding her best option would be to get moving. She was getting hungry and her food reserves stored in the armor wouldn't last long. She pushed at the manual release switches and began to strip herself out of the suit.
Hot moist air met her exposed skin and had her cursing her full body undersuit, It had to be well over a hundred degrees here.
She rubbed her head where it was aching and her hand came back covered in blood. Oww! There was a huge lump back there too.. Just what she needed to throw off her cute pixie cut, she hoped she didn't need stitches. Sewing up the back of her own head would be hard even for her.
Toni placed the armor in a neat pile and looked around. The trees were gigantic, some looked taller than the tower and had leaves the size of a rhino. There was no wind, no sound.. No bugs, birds or animal calls. Just nothing.
She wasn't a fan of nothing. It was erie. God, she hoped this wasn't some weird vampire planet where they turned into bats and then chased down their prey and drained their blood. Or maybe a zombie infested alien race that loved to eat flesh.
She cursed Clint for his weird taste in movies that were making her paranoid now.
While she was freaking herself out about the potential inhabitants of this overgrown planet she realized she had forgotten about Dr Strange! Thanos had thrown him into the portal before her, so he should be close by. She scanned the area around her but saw nothing.
Oh God, Stephen wouldn't have been able to slow his fall without his magic, and if the Cloak was bound to then he would have hit the trees at full speed.. No...
Toni had to find him, he'd been out there alone for who knows how long already, he could be severly injured or..
Please God, don't let him be dead!!
She liked Stephen Strange, even if most of the other Avengers thought he was an arrogant ass most of the time. Which he could be, hell so was she but he always came to their aid whenever it was needed. He was crucial to their fights against Loki.
Steve had gave him a spot as a permanent Avenger but Strange declined, saying he worked better alone. He wasn't lying, the man spent all of his time closed off in his Sanctum with only his books and ancient relics surrounding him. Toni thought it was sad, day after day of no contact with anyone. Well there was Wong she supposed but that was more of a work friend than the 'let's go out and have a good time friend'. But he was better than noone.
He never came to any of their team nights where they watched movies and got stuffed on junk food. He also, much to Steve's chargrin, never attended their weekly sparring sessions. On several occasions he had portaled his way in during their sessions to inform them of some impending danger but he always left before they could waylay him. If one looked closely (no, not ogling, she wasn't ogling him he totally wasn't her type) Toni thought you could see a shimmer of longing in his eyes when he looked at their happy little group.
It had to be a lonely life..
The man was a true loner but Steve left his title as an Avenger anyway.
Toni had to find him, she knew what it was like to be lost and alone in some strange place. She thought back to her time spent wandering the desert in Afganistan, slowly dying from thirst til Rhodey had found her. She didn't want that to happen to her teammate.
She needed to look around, but there was no way in hell she would go unarmed. She pulled open a tiny compartment on the chest piece of the armor and pulled out a few essentials. A multi-tool, a mini med-kit and a retractable machete of her own design. The rest she'd come back for later.
You never knew when aliens or people eating plants might attack you. She came up with the small Voorhees like device after one of Steve's training missions went south and she and Clint nearly starved to death because the only items they were allowed to take were rope and bug spray.
Steve, the sweetie, would let them nearly starve, but no way in hell would he let the bugs bite them.
Hawkeye tried making a bow and arrows from branches and Toni tried to fish with a rock. Needless to say it hadn't ended well, hence her new mini murder/hunting tool.
Toni looked to the sky, if she had fallen straight down through the portal then Stephen should have done the same, right? Unless his cloak may have sent him off course. Still he couldn't have gone far, there was no damn wind to blow him far away.
"Stephen!!" she called out. "Stephen can you hear me?!"
Nothing. Not a sound.
She was scoping out the trees above her, trying to determine where he may have fallen when his cloak shout out of the forest toward her. The seams were slightly torn and it looked like it had rolled in the mud. It must have regained its abilities after Thanos tossed them in here.
It circled around her frantically. She didn't have whatever kind of connection Stephen did with it, she didn't speak whatever magic cloak language it had, but she guessed by the way it was flapping about it wanted her to follow it.
What did you call a sentinent cloak? She'd never heard Stephen call it anything before, usually he would just tell it to 'stop that' when it played with his hair. Well, Cloak was as good as any name.
"Umm, Cloak? Where's Stephen? Do you know where he is? Is he ok? Is he hurt? Oh God is he even ali- aahhhh!!"
The cloak wrapped her up in it's embrace and took off like a freaking rocket. It weaved erratically between the trees, nearly missing decapitating Toni on a low branch.
"Jesus!! Watch out, will you! I've had enough brain damage for one day."
Almost as swift as it started, it was over. Cloak opened and dropped her onto the ground with a thud, facefirst into a mudpile. Any other time it may have been funny, but she wasn't in the happiest of moods at the moment. She swiped the mud from her eyes and flung it toward the cloak who smacked it away irritated and made a pointing gesture behind her.
"What?" Toni turned.
Behind her, lying at the base of the nearest tree, his clothes ripped and bloody, was the broken and battered body of Stephen Strange...