Alive.

He drew the apparatus from his pocket and bent to set it up straight. He clicked its brass legs in place and immediately a spark of red shot out from its core and up towards the sky, the electricity in the air buzzing. He ensured the claws of the machine dug into the earth to hold it still and drew a soft cloth over the ruby gem protruding from its centre.

It had taken the better part of the afternoon to climb the mountain and his head had grown light as he ascended until he had reached its sharp peak above the clouds. He knew his soft, laboratory weakened body couldn’t stay at this altitude much longer but he only needed one full blast of power to fill the contraption and then he could leave.

The air around him continued to rumble and it was nearly dark as night as he stood between the lighter, welcoming, layer of cloud below and the menacing storm clouds above. The rubber of his protective clothing squeaked as he moved and the humidity trapped between it and his skin was making him sweat alarmingly. He didn’t know how much longer his body could hold out, or if didn’t get what he had come for, how long until he would be strong enough to attempt it again.

He looked upwards imploringly and drew in a sharp breath as he watched the sky above him begin to light up. The lightning was gathering and he took a step backwards, teetering towards the edge of the peak, as it formed into a ball of electricity.

A sharp crack broke out, deafening him, and shaking the ground. He closed his eyes and when he looked back the ruby tip of the machine glowed a glistening, electric blood red.

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