Chapter 26: "I don't see another option."

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Now Playing: What I've Done: Linkin Park

'Cause I've drawn regret

From the truth of a thousand lies

So let mercy come and wash away

What I've done



Tony Stark

This was a terrible idea. Utterly horrible, he thought to himself. This could kill her, It probably will. 

But he was running out of time, the neurosurgeon had done all he could to stop Iris. Even held her in a conversation for a short amount of time. Strange was now out cold, Tony saw him thrown into some more rocks. Why he didn't just fly up to help, Tony didn't know. It was like some invisible force was holding him down. 

Iris remained to hover in the air, unmoving from the spot where she'd tossed Strange aside like a rag doll. Like she had all the time in the world. Tony supposed she did, with that kind of power. 

"F.R.I.D.A.Y.? You still got access?" 

"I do boss," His A.I. trailed off. "You sure you want to do this?" 

"I don't see another option." Was it possible for artificial intelligence to sigh? If so, F.R.I.D.A.Y. certainly did. 

"Initiating electric shock, in three, two, one." 


Stephen Strange

This was the second time Stephen had blacked out in twelve hours. He needed some painkillers and tea, stat. Preferably Earl Grey, but he could settle for Chai or Jasmine. 

It was only for ten to twenty seconds, but it felt like minutes. The Cloak of Levitation's collar brushed his cheek as his eye fluttered open. His head pounded like the bass line of a punk rock tune and stars danced in his peripheral. 

I'm going to hurl, he thought, if the world does not stop spinning.  

He pushed up with his elbows and the cloak did the rest, holding him in the air effortlessly. Stephen paused for a moment, waiting for his stomach to stop churning. 

His eye's focused, finally, and there was Iris, hovering not fifteen feet from him, waiting. The left corner of her mouth was quirked up, and her head tilted to the right. 

Stephen thought through his options. He could continue this fight, he'd surely lose if he did, or he could flee, try and lose her on the planet's surface. 

Before he could decide, however, a blood-curdling scream rang through the air. 

It was Iris. Her head was thrown back, mouth open, releasing a scream of agony. Her hands tensed, her neck, every muscle in her body did. It might have been Stephen's imagination, or him simply hallucinating, but he could have sworn her saw tendrils of electricity sparking once on her arm. 

And then she fell unconscious and plunged toward the ground. 

Stephen Strange yelled, actually yelled, he hadn't done that in a while. "Go!" He screamed at the cloak, who, after a split second's hesitation, released him, and flew after the falling Iris.

Then the neurosurgeon fell too, but he gathered enough of his concentration to conjure a shield to stand on. Then he kneeled upon it and watched as his loyal cloak speed to catch Iris. 

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