Appearing in "Digging in the Dirt"
- Pepper Potts
- Rhodey Rhodes
- Captain America (Steve Rogers)
- Thor (Don Blake)
- Maria Hill
- Black Widow (Natasha Romanov)
- Captain America (James Barnes)
- Dr. Lisk (First appearance)
- Howard (Dream)
- Maria (Dream)
- Norman Osborn (Mentioned)
- The Thunderbolts (Mentioned)
- The Hood (Parker Robbins) (Mentioned)
- The Avengers (Mentioned)
- The Tinkerer (Mentioned)
- Beth Sooner
- Iron Man Armor Model 4's chestplate (Dream)
- Rescue Armor Model 1
- Captain America's Shield
- Arc Reactor
Synopsis for "Digging in the Dirt"
In his subconscious, Tony Stark is digging fast for whatever is under the dirt. He asks for Howard and Maria's help. Together, they find an iron chest plate. Just then, the Titanomechs attack again. They quick move the chestplate to their camp. He then puts it on but nothing happens.
In Manhattan, Madame Masque gives the Ghost a specific task to eliminate Stark. However, the catch is that he's in Broxton, Oklahoma, where Asgard is, therefore Stark is under Thor's protection. She gives him a device that could detect repulsors and a phone designed by the Terrible Tinkerer that could allow him to execute his phase powers over it.
On Broxton, Pepper is writing a note for Stark. Her attention is then moved by the appearance of Rhodey and Steve Rogers, who are both ready to save Stark; she hugs the latter.
Specific instructions in holographic recording from Stark inform the doctors what to do to reboot his brain. First, they need to transfer Pepper's electromagnetic repulsor battery on her chest onto his. Next, is surgery through his Extremis reorganized body and then jacking in Stark Drive X, which Maria Hill retrieved, would act as a boot disc that contains his back-up mind. Then, Rhodey would have to connect the Rescue suit's repulsor batteries to the chest battery. Lastly, they need to connect Cap's shield to him and then have Thor channel electricity through it, which may kill him.
Meanwhile, the Ghost uses the tracking device from the Cube to connect to the Sooner Inn and get inside there.
Tony's closest friends and lovers have gathered to try and help the man rebuild his shattered consciousness, body, life and legacy...but when Tony gets the call, does he WANT to come back? CAN he...even with Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, bridging the gap between the two worlds? And you didn't think the bad guys were going to just sit back and let Tony rest and recuperate, did you?