In desperation after her bullies make her appear to have cheated on a vital exam, Taylor Hebert prays.
Sometimes, prayers do get heard and answered, even if not by a benevolent God, then by a Cosmic Entity indistinguishable from one from ground level.
In another reality, Anthony Edward Stark lies among the dying, having failed to repel a Celestial's attack. He is about to get another chance. Sort of.
Taylor awakens with the memories and skills of a certain genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. She now has the power to save the world... if she can save her own identity and sanity first.
This fanfic contains examples of the following:
- Actually, I Am Him: At New Wave's reception, Danny is greeted as Iron Man instead of his daughter - since Taylor deliberately leads people to believe her cape persona is male.
- Adaptation Name Change: Not-yet-Lisa takes up the name Trish instead, as that's what Taylor called her when she saved her from Coil's men.
- When New Wave joins the Human Defense Initiative, they rebrand themselves as Next Wave.
- Alien Space Bats: The plot is kicked off by a Cosmic Entity, never named but implied to be the Living Tribunal, gifting Taylor with Tony's memories.
- Alternate Universe Fic:
- Taylor gets her power well before the locker incident, early enough that she can get a suit out in time to fight the Simurgh in Canberra.
- In chapter three Taylor saves not-yet-Lisa from Coil's goons, causing her to join Taylor directly rather than the Undersiders.
- Amplifier Artifact: Taylor builds devices for her team that boost the strength of their powers.
- Anti-Magic: Taylor builds a device that can protect wearers from the Simurgh's psychic powers. Another benefit of the Cosmic Entity's intervention is that she is immune to precognition - the Simurgh has to indirectly track her by her jet wash, which has a lag time.
- Boxing Lessons for Superman: Somewhat. Chris/Kid Win is shown to improve greatly once he stops relying completely on his power-granted understanding of technology and starts doing his own research into scientific concepts. While he does use the powers to help construct the new technology he designs with it, both he and his powers are shown to have improved measurably.
- Blessed with Suck:
- Tattletale's second trigger lets her gather information far faster than before, but is likely to get her killed from My Skull Runneth Over if not managed right.
- Taylor getting Tony Stark's memories and intellect has enormous advantages, but it also means she has to deal with the memories and personality of a middle-aged playboy with PTSD and father issues overlapping with her own mind, struggling daily with trying to keep both separate.
- Cassandra Truth: Of all the Protectorate, Assault is the only one who is absolutely convinced that Iron Man was the one to unleash the nanotech plague on the city. He openly calls out everyone else for not thinking about it, despite it being within Iron Man's capabilities to do so.
- Composite Character: Though this fic mainly runs on the comics continuity, Jarvis here is the films' AI rendition rather than a human.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: When the Slaughterhouse 9 decide to go after Iron Man, they don't last more than a few seconds, with the majority of the members getting vaporized in seconds, including Jack, Shatterbird and Mannequin. Siberian and Crawler lasts long enough to try and go on the offense, before Taylor kills Siberian's controller. Crawler lasts the longest and could have caused actual damage if he wasn't so slow, and ends up getting chopped to pieces and burned away down to his atoms.
- Death of Personality: Taylor is fighting an ongoing battle to prevent herself from being overwritten by Tony's personality even as she tries to make use of his abilities and knowledge.
- De-Power: Taylor has developed nanobots, probably a variant of S.P.I.N. tech, that interfere with the Corona Pollentia in Parahumans, effectively canceling their abilities without harming them.
- Engineered Public Confession: Taylor does two at once when the Trio confront her after trying to stick her in the locker. She intended to do the first, which was her recording Emma monologuing about how great Emma is and how much Emma hates the teachers for being gullible stooges who didn't even notice that the Trio were sabotaging Taylor. Unfortunately, there's a second confession that Taylor didn't intend to catch- the camera footage clearly shows that Sophia is Shadow Stalker.
- Entertainingly Wrong: Dragon, initially, thinks that JARVIS and Iron Man are the same person- that JARVIS was remote-controlling the suit to fight the Simurgh, but bailed on that suit when it self-destructed. It's understandable, given that she does basically the same thing with her suits. Unfortunately, the Dragonslayers latch on to this theory, which causes problems down the road.
- "Eureka!" Moment: Taylor realizes who is the real villain that she has been seeking when Scion "accidentally" strikes her during the battle against Leviathan.
- For Want of a Nail: When heading to Canberra for the fight against the Simurgh, Panacea receives one of Iron Man's Psionic Dampeners by sheer chance. She keeps it after the battle, and over time she realizes the influence Glory Girl's aura has on her, and how narrowly the Dampener has saved her from doing something horrible.
- Geeky Turn-On: Kid Win starts to nurse a crush on Taylor after she shows interest in his Tinkering and gives him tips for upgrades. Even without that, though, he thought she was cool before, since she stood up to Sophia and her bullies when he couldn't.
- Gender Vocabulary Slip: One Japanese worker laudes Taylor's efforts to speak him in his native language, but still points it's obvious she's new to this — okay, her syntax and accent are perfect, but her speech patterns are masculine. Of course, he has no way to know she's actually borrowing Tony's skills.
- HeelFace Turn: Squealer from the Merchants is captured by Taylor's drones during the attack on HTech and healed of her addiction. She decides to join Taylor's efforts to save the world.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The Australian rogue Billabong dies from the stress caused by him holding back Leviathan's waves from striking Brockton Bay.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Discussed in chapter 30 by Jarvis, who applauds Danny having doubts and calling for restraint, since Taylor and co. fully casting aside moral fetters and being consumed by the self-righteousness of their cause will lead to them becoming little better than the villains they're fighting.
- Hidden Villain: Though readers familiar with Worm know from metaknowledge the identity of the enemy Taylor was given Tony's abilities to fight, his identity remained a mystery, leaving Taylor and co. groping in the dark. When Scion shows up, Taylor realizes that it is the hidden villain.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Sophia ends up falling into the locker trap she had prepared for Taylor.
- Iron Woobie: This is Taylor's In-Universe evaluation of Tony - someone who gets up to fight despite hurting badly inside.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Danny and Trish eviscerate most of the Dragonslayers when they try to kill Taylor by destroying the Exile portal.
- Mêlée à Trois: At the end of chapter 20 almost all the major gangs in Brockton Bay are converging on the HTech factory, with this as the result.
- Muggle Power: Definitly has a theme of this, as Taylor isn't really a parahuman in this version, and focuses heavily on improving the ability of baseline humans to stand against Parahumans without getting slaughtered. She actively resists attempts by the PRT and Protectorate to strong-arm her company into giving them exclusive rights to their technology.
- Outside-Context Problem: In chapter 29, Alexandria mentions this almost directly when she states that just when she thinks she's got a handle on Iron Man, he proceeds to do things that "don't make sense within the context" of what she knows.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Iron Man appears to have died fighting the Simurgh, but she has actually survived and sends a message back as soon as she can. She does the same some time after the fight with Leviathan ends up with her in orbit near Pluto.
- Required Secondary Powers:
- Quite a bit of the fic is dedicated to discussing the need for Taylor to gather resources and develop appropriate tools and subsystems in order to recreate the technology Tony had. Sarah Pelham even lampshades this to Taylor that scrounging through junkyards is one of the first things that newly triggered Tinkers do, which Taylor commiserates on.
- Defied with the mass production Iron Legionnaire suits. One of the key selling points Taylor offers to the US military is the fact that they don't need special training to maintain or operate, which cannot be said for most Tinkertech. This is explicitly demonstrated when she rejects the top pilots the military intended as testers in favour of ordinary line troopers, who still manage to quickly learn the ropes anyway, then offers a suit to the motor pool to fiddle with. No matter what abuse it gets put through, it still remains within the ability of non-superpowered mechanics to work with.
- This is what separates Iron Man from normal Tinkers, since Tinkers have the power to create super-advanced technology, but lack the knowledge of physics behind the tech, which limits them within their specialization of their powers and makes them impossible to be mass-produced. Meanwhile, Iron Man has the superhuman intellect that allows him to understands the superscience behind his tech and can mass-produce it.
- Sarcasm Failure: In chapter 29, when Jarvis suggests that Taylor is at the appropriate age to begin looking into romance, even Tony's wit isn't enough to help her devise an appropriate comeback.
- Showy Invincible Hero: Taylor slowly moves in this direction as she recreates more of Tony's tech. Justified as Marvel-616's power level is higher than Worm's and the Cosmic Entity granted her Tony's knowledge not to play with normal parahumans but rather to destroy the Endbringers and Scion.
- Somebody Else's Problem: Discussed and defied in chapter three, where Taylor resolves that she has no excuse for not helping another person out given how she's been on the receiving end of this so often.
- Start My Own: Taylor decides to start her own cape organization, in parallel with the Protectorate, to get ready to fight the end of the world.