Status: Just a fun random story for you guys (feat. Tom Holland)

EP and Boy Wonder: The Tale of Pierre Bouvier and the Part Plasma Prince

“Earth 261?”

Tom

Being an actor should have helped make all of this crazy shit happening a lot easier to handle. But, finding myself in a completely different universe…dimension was not something even I could get my head around. Add the fact that I had a doppelgänger and, well…welcome to confusion city.

Still, the teleportation was convenient, and it wasn’t like I’d been entirely honest with my new friends. I’d known I could teleport for a lot longer than I was letting on. Since I was a lad, to be honest. Bit of a pain, really. Having to keep that a secret from my family and friends. But, having the freedom to do that? Was kind of invigorating.

Of course, right now, I was shitting myself. Why? Because I had no idea what was happening, I didn’t know if or when I was ever going to get back home, and we were about to meet the real honest to God Iron Man. You couldn’t make this up. Could you?

Marly seemed oddly calm about this all. But, then again from what I could gather, from the short amount of time I’d known her, weird stuff like this was par for the course for her. And evidently for Pierre as well.

“You good, Holland?”

I glanced sideways at Peter who slowed to walk next to me as we made our way toward the tallest building in the city.

“Define good,” I muttered. The fact that Peter looked almost identical to myself was unnerving and I couldn’t quite meet his eyes.

Peter lifted a shoulder. “You’re handling this better than I thought you would.”

I scoffed. “I think I’m in shock.”

Marly looked back at us and paused so that we ended up alongside each other.

“And you think I’m not just as shocked, Tom?”

I blinked. “You’ve seen more than me.”

She laughed, shaking her head. “I’ve just found out that EP’s real name is Raphael.” She held her head to her forehead in a dramatic gesture. “My whole life has been a lie! A lie I tell you!”

Peter said, “Well, I’m assuming he thought it was easier just to say his name was Pierre as well, to keep up the illusion that he and Pierre were one person.”

Marly scowled evidently not pleased with that assessment. I had to agree that was a bit of an iffy explanation.

“Except you didn’t introduce yourself to me as ET.”

Peter and Marly both gave me a weird look before I realised what I’d said.

“Oh…right…that would’ve sounded wrong.”

Peter snorted. “ET would be offended.” He glanced ahead of us. “Anyway, here we are. Stark Tower.”

I followed his gaze and couldn’t help but gasp out loud. The sheer amount of glass was…almost blinding. I lifted a hand to shield my eyes from the light that reflected off the side of the building.

“Glass? Why so much glass?” Pierre asked as he slipped a pair of sunglasses on.

Peter snorted. “He’s got the most money; he can afford it.”

Marly rolled her eyes. “Rich people.”

I looked at her, raising my eyebrows at her statement, but it was Pierre who said, “You know, if you have food and shelter and a good education you’re one of those rich people, babe.”

Marly sighed. “Let me rephrase then. Billionaires…”

Peter laughed as we made our way to the entrance of the glass monstrosity. “He’s worth way more than that.”

“Trillions? Gazillions?” I asked, somewhat facetiously.

“Try terazillions.” Peter held a hand up to a panel next to the door, and after a soft beep the door just disappeared in front of him.

I frowned at the frame as we passed through. “How does that work?”

Peter looked back at me. “Particle displacement.” He lifted his shoulders. “I’d explain more but I don’t want to bore you. It’s pretty basic.”

I didn’t press him anymore because as we entered the reception area of Stark Tower my attention was captured by a large structure in the middle which was even more mind blowing than a disappearing door. It was moving, by some mechanism that I couldn’t quite grasp. A million tiny metallic parts swirling in a tornado shaped spiral up toward a spacious ceiling cavity. Light reflected off each piece, yet it wasn’t blinding to the eye.

“What is that?” Marly asked, awe as evident in her voice as I was experiencing.

“That, my friends, is an electromagneticparticle storm. It was installed just this week. Do you like?”

We turned to see a hooded figure watching us from the top of a grand stair case – the internal space of this building was a contradiction in itself with old and new melded together.

“I like very much,” Marly replied as she frowned at the figure. “Who are you?”

With a quick flick of a hand the figure allowed the hood to fall back to reveal a face that had angular features and a neat grey goatee. A crooked smile played across thin lips, and dark eyes took us all in.

This could only be…

“Stark, Tony Stark. At your service, Miss…?”

“Walker. Miss Walker.”

I noticed she was quick to answer; perhaps a little too quickly.

I lifted a hand and murmured my name. “Tom Holland.”

Stark held up a finger. “I know you. You’re Pete’s genetic twin from Earth 261.”

“Earth 261?” Pierre asked as he halted between Marly and I.

Stark turned his piercing gaze toward the singer. “And you’re Raphael’s.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.” There was a distinct growl in his voice.

I raised my eyebrows as I waited to see what would happen.

Stark looked at each one of us with a calculating expression. “What did Peter say I could do for you?”

We glanced at each other. After all, Fury had said that he was going to get this man to sort out the issue of getting us back home. But, that wasn’t the reason we decided to come here. I looked at Peter who was hanging back with an almost nervous expression on his face.

“Pete? Buddy?” Stark looked at the webshooter. “What did you need from me?”

Peter cleared his throat. “They want to know about the history of Jersey State. And our Earth.”

Stark tilted his head. “Ah. So, they’re not here because they want to find a way home?”

I shook my head, finally joining my voice to the conversation. “We want to do that, as well. But, Fury said that might take time.”

Stark made a rude sound, rolling his eyes. “He expects me to fix everyone’s problems.” He glared at Pierre especially. “You need Raphael for that problem. But, I can give you the guided tour of our state.”

“Wait,” Marly said, voice tightening, “You need EP? But, he’s back on our earth.”

“I know. He’ll be back shortly, I believe.” Stark smiled. “In the mean time, I think a history lesson will keep you occupied, no?”

We all agreed, resigned that we would have to continue to wait before finding out how we were going to get home. Though I couldn’t help wondering how EP – Raphael - was going to get back here if we couldn’t leave. But, I guess time would tell.