A Study in Iron

by Thomas Pinder

‘We appear to be out of time, Watson. Watson?’

Watson was not there.

‘Very well.’

Whatever had happened, Holmes was not quite sure. Granted, he knew he was where he was not meant to be, but for Holmes, this was not all that out of the ordinary. Indeed, he had made a career out of it.

Gathering his wits, he remembered more fully who he was, and promptly set about deducting. The environment gave some clues, but it was usually the people who had the poorest poker face. Or rather, the person, for upon looking around, despite hearing at least two voices, Holmes could only discern one man. But there was definitely conversation, and that always required two participants, he said to himself.

Whoever this man was, he was clearly insane.

‘Excuse me, sir, but I appear to be in your…’ Holmes hesitated, realising he wasn’t quite sure exactly where he was.

‘Penthouse’, was the droll reply.

‘That being as it may, I would rather like to know how I came to be here. You see, I am not used to playing with an empty hand, and though it loathe me to admit it, you are holding all the cards.’

The man turned, the clink of ice on ice on glass twice over, walked towards Holmes and offered him a whiskey. It was much needed.

‘Thank you.’

Holmes righted himself.

As the man returned to behind the bar, Holmes could now more clearly perceive his features, of which there was one in particular that caught his eye.

‘Forgive me for asking, but I am still trying to make heads or tails of my situation; what exactly is that in your chest?’

‘This? Oh, this is just a Vibranium core inside a miniaturised version of an arc reactor. It keeps the shrapnel out of my heart. You know, the day-to-day stuff.’

Vibranium. Arc Reactor.

‘Who are you, sir?’

‘I am Tony Stark. And you, big fella, are the great Sherlock Holmes. And we need your help.’