Powering Up

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Tony made his way to a safe distance orbiting the ISS. He listened in on Bruce Banner going over the mission parameters with the crew.

"Once we open the portal we'll have about twenty minutes to take readings before the portal collapses," said Dr, Banner.

"We'll be standing by with telemetry from our sensors," said Doc.

"Perfect," said Dr. Banner, "I'll be collecting readings from both the suit and the device."

Iron Man fired his retro-burn locking the device into orbit with the space station. He grabbed the tesseract from the small cargo pod on the back of his waist.

"Moment of truth..."

Iron Man placed the tesseract unit in the missing space at the center of the portal device. The tesseract began to glow and energy began to pulse into the limbs of the device.

"You might want to fall back a few paces," said Dr. Banner.

"Agreed," said Iron Man, who retreated to a safe distance.

"Firing up the wave-pulse now," said Banner.

"What? No countdown?" Iron Man joked. Suddenly the portal burst into a blinding light. "Too late!" Iron Man shouted as he shielded his eyes with his arm.

"JARVIS! Do you think you could maybe dim the visor a bit?" He gasped from inside the helmet.

"Visor at one-hundred-percent opaqueness," JARVIS reported.

"Damn, that bright!" Iron Man whined.

"Agreed," Doc shouted over the intercom. "All our cameras are at peak value. We're not getting a damn thing."

"Hold on," said Banner, "It's about to hit the refraction!"

The light from the portal dimmed. Iron Man regained his sight just in time to see the pulse wave spreading out from the opening in space and time.

"Oh crap," said Iron Man under his breath. "Doc? Guys? You better hold on to something."

The pulse knocked Iron Man back sending him spinning out of control. His pulse jets fired wildly.

"JARVIS! Get me stabilized!"

"I'm doing my best, Sir!" JARVIS whined back at him.

The pulse slammed into the ISS, twisting it and shearing off external panels, hurling them into space.

On board, gas leaked, sparks flew, lights flashed, and sirens blared.

"Damn it!" Shouted Francisco, "Yuri! Alice! Get those damn jets stabilized before we fly out of orbit!"

All four astronauts frantically made repairs as fast as they could.

After a few last pulses, Iron Man was in orbit with the ISS and the portal device again.

"Uh," said Iron Man, "I think I'm going to be sick..."

"Shall I start the helmet vacuum, sir?" JARVIS asked.

"No... Not yet..." he said. "Doc? Francisco? Come in... Do you need assistance?"

The radio crackled. Francisco voice came on.

"No... We have everything under control for now."

"Glad to hear it," said Iron Man.

"You know," said Francisco, "You had one job..."

Iron Man wasn't paying attention anymore. He was looking at the first man made dimensional portal.

"Banner... Are you getting this?" Iron Man asked.

"Oh, you better believe it," said Dr. Banner from over the radio, "it's incredible."

"On the other side

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"On the other side..." But he could not finish his sentence.

"I see it!" shouted Dr. Banner, "some kind of destroyed space station. It's huge! Well beyond any technology we have."

Iron Man fired his booster rockets.

"I'm going in!" he shouted.

"What? Tony, no!" Banner shouted back over the radio, "the portal is too unstable! We won't be able to hold it!"

"That's why I have to go in now!"

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