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Valaria & Goran

Val stood rigid, barely daring to breathe. The tension shrouding the room was thick and an odd hush hung heavy over its two occupants. She was drenched in a cold sweat, she knew not whether from fear of from the humidity. Thumbing her fingers anxiously, she looked across the darkened room to Goran. Although, barely able to make his silhouette out, she sensed his nervousness. A dreaded uneasiness gripped her as she fought to remain calm and wrestled to steady the pounding of her heart.

At the other end of the room, Goran was poised, his hands gripped the lever tightly in trepidation. He wiped his brow but made no sudden movements, as though waiting for the right moment. The few seconds that crept by felt torturously drawn out, as though time were playing a cruel joke. Outside, a company of birds took flight, flapping feathers breaking the ominous silence. Then as if on cue, Goran brought the switch noisily down till it reached its hilt. Immediately, the motors kicked in, slowly at first then picking up the pace. A steady hum was faintly audible, a clear indication that the generator was powering up. In the middle of the room, a single translucent orb started to put off a yellow glow and gradually brightened.

Val could see Goran's face now, looking absolutely stunned. The orb's glow was slight but steady enough to illuminate the small room which in the light was clearly some sort of workshop. A tangle of wires jutted out from the base of the orb, leading a snarled trail of cables connected to the large generator at the end of the room. Unable to contain her composure any longer Val squealed and as if mirroring her delight, Goran let forth a cheer himself as she ran over to embrace him.

However, their joy was short-lived. A sudden explosive spark startled the two. The glowing orb shattered in pieces. Instinctively, Val let out a terrified cry, "Surge!" and gripped Goran in fright as they both fell to the floor. The room was engulfed in darkness again, the motor begin to slow with an ear wrenching rattle and then come to a dead stop. An odd stillness descended over the room. Time laughed and played his tricks once more, the seconds turning infinite. Eternity had come and gone yet Val's heart was still racing. They lay embraced for some time till finally she noticed how tightly she was clutching Goran and quickly loosened her death grip. It was Goran that broke the still silence for the second time, loosing a volley of expletives.

Val allowed her husband, his one consolation though he quickly ranted his fill. She tried to reach for him but he was already stumbling in the dark toward the nearest window to throw open the shutters. Sunlight flooded into the small workshop, momentarily blinded, she quickly shielded her eyes. Goran too, took a minute to adjust his vision and then turned to examine the damage rendered.

The orb laid shattered, its circuitry fried, Shards of broken glass were strewn over the floor. The generator was smoking, but still visibly intact. But Goran remembered the shattering rattle he had heard earlier, probably internal damage. He felt an urgency to ascertain immediately but noticed Val still sat unmoving on the ground. Refraining from inspecting the generator at present he turned back to his wife and hunkered back down to cradle her again.

"I'm sorry for my outburst, my love, are your alright?" he pushed the stray strands from her face and gently kissed her temple.

Val was crying now, tears were welling in her eyes, she fought hard to hold them off. At first, she had felt nothing, just numbness but now in Goran's arms, her composure started to falter as the emotions assailed her. She trembled and clenched him tighter, feeling the fool. "Stop crying! It was nothing, you're crying over nothing." She repeated to herself. The tears kept flowing. Replaying the events in her mind, how close they had come. When they had laid there for what seemed like forever, she felt death's familiar chill and thought back to that time before. How close they had been. How close she had nearly come to loosing him. Again.

I thought it was a "Surge." She croaked, trying to get up.

He helped her stand and dried her tear stained cheeks with his work apron. "It wasn't, my love, more likely just the main power outburst. We're safe." Looking back at the generator, he couldn't resist the urge now and he headed to it, firstly testing the exterior shell to make sure it wasn't burning hot. It felt warm to his touch and he promptly began to break open the casing to take a closer look.

"Oh?" Feeling slightly embarrassed that she had overreacted, Val surveyed the wreckage."I'm so sorry Goran, this was your life's work."

"It's not as bad as it looks." He lied, peering inside the generator's cavity. Locating his goal, he used a driver from his tool belt and removed from its compartment a gold cube that was the size of a fist. By comparison to the rest of the machine, the object was exquisitely crafted with runic detail but was now partially charred from the mishap. "Just as I guessed. The power cell is gone."

"The power cell?" Val echoed back worriedly. The experiments were mainly Goran's work and she knew little about the technical mechanics of his inventions but even she knew how valuable the power cell was and how difficult it had been to obtain.

{this chapter is incomplete, still reworking the paragrahs and adding to the plot]

02 / 03 / -