Stewart Mertens, alternately Big Iron, is an escaped ferrokinetic Schoolchild who now works at the Oasis. His civilian identity was given to him by his adopted father, a Mamoswine farmer in the deserts of Orre.
Stewart is a tall, fit, and handsome young man with medium-length dirty blond hair and purple eyes. His typical attire consists of a pair of blue jeans, heavy work boots, and a t-shirt that shows off his athletic build. Said T-shirts are often university tees from Phenac City University. Many Templars and Schoolchildren, notably Vana, notes that he has a very clear physical resemblance to the Templar Ferrum.
Iron was the 26th Schoolchild produced by the School in 2010. Decanted as a 12-year old, the young Schoolchild was bred to develop and hone ferrokinetic abilities as was a recurring meme since the 1950s. Iron proved quite skilled as a psychic and as a ferrokinetic, and his genetic template was slated for future attempts at ferrokinetic children and templars. He was also quite charismatic and displayed excellent leadership and communication skills. As an alumnus, he was able to turn the performances of so-called laggard Schoolchildren, from both his batch and later, especially during group activities, which led the administration to believe he was dangerous to keep around.
Thus, they arranged an accident to happen that would kill him, which served both to eliminate him and to show an example to the laggards who looked up to him. Personnel disposed of what they thought was his body at the pasture of a Mamoswine farm, where they had just planned on breaking his legs before the mamoswine chased them away. As it turns out, he was merely unconscious, and the head of the Mamoswine sounder alerted the farmer. The farmer nursed him back to health and formally adopted him, and he worked in the farm until he went to The Oasis. At some point, he attended Phenac City University.
Unbeknownst to him until 2022, the School eventually "refined" his genetic template to create a more compliant, "results-oriented" Templar, Ferrum.
At the Oasis, he participated in a raid that led to the recovery of another schoolchild designated Iron, a gender nonconforming young teen who he nicknamed Rusty. He and his father adopted them. As of 2022, they've been around to assist the J-Team. He and another older Schoolchild, Deuterium, enjoy a mutual attraction to one another and are suspected to be dating.
In most situations, Stewart is softspoken, humble, and speaks in a very polite and affable tone. He tries to be nice whenever he can and that has won him the trust of many of his companions. People find him charming and likeable, at least if they never previously dealt with Ferrum before. One thing he does have in common with Ferrum is that he has a bit of a cocky streak and tends to be incredibly showy, including in combat situations.
Iron is a skilled ferrokinetic and can both summon steel and iron objects using his hands but also manipulate them telepathically. He can bend metal poles into different shapes with little difficulty. Besides that, his body goes into stasis whenever it gets severely injured, which in some circumstances would make it look like he died. This played a part in saving him when the School tried to eliminate him.
Because metal poles are the easiest objects for him to grab, he knows how to use a quarterstaff in combat.
- Stewart's Pokémon are all pigs, referencing pig iron.
- His other epithet references the song of the same name first popularized by Marty Robbins.
- He took up physical therapy in college.