Tony Stark was assumed dead after his house was destroyed with him inside. He managed to escape and his armor followed a previously calculated flight plan to Rose Hill, Tennessee. Delirious, hungry, and exhausted, Stark was found in the garage of Harley Keener, who eventually helped him to find Mrs. Davis, a local whose son mysteriously exploded, killing five others in the blast. Mrs. Davis had been called by Ellen Brandt who asked her to meet her at the local bar and bring the file and videotape that Chad had made about his experiences with A.I.M. and the Extremis formula which its company's founder, Aldrich Killian, was using on amputated veterans.
Tony Stark approached Mrs. Davis in the bar and she gave him the file believing he was the one who called her. As they spoke, Ellen Brandt arrived and tried to arrest Stark. The Rose Hill Sheriff intervened and Brandt showed him a Homeland Security badge. The sheriff was not convinced and Brandt punched him through his chest, grabbed his deputy's gun, and shot both of them.
A handcuffed Stark ran to the street, but Eric Savin arrived. Savin shot at Stark but missed because Harley Keener hit him in the face with a snowball. Stark entered a diner as Brandt shot at him with a shotgun she stole from a local. Brandt chased Stark into the kitchen and threw him into a wall. Stark set a fire but Brandt walked through it unharmed due to her Extremis powers. Stark put Chad Davis' dog tags in the microwave and broke the gas line. Stark ran out the back door as the microwave ignited the gas destroying the building and throwing Brandt's body onto the power lines.
Stark turned around to find Savin using his Extremis powers to melt the legs of the water tower, causing it to crash to the ground, flooding the area. Stark got tangled in the debris. While Stark attempted to free himself, Savin grabbed Keener and threatened to kill him if Stark did not give him the file. Stark told Keener to use the device he gave him to blind Savin, allowing Stark to hit him in the forehead with a blast from his repulsor.
Tony Stark left Rose Hill and went to Chattanooga where he watched the videotape in the news van of a cameraman named Gary. After contacting James Rhodes, he went to Miami, Florida to Aldrich Killian's Mansion to confront Aldrich Killian and to learn the secret of the Mandarin.