The grating was refreshingly cool, despite the heat radiating from some distant source far below. It was relaxing, in its own peculiar way, and Dr.
Aster didn't feel inclined to move from his spot at first... at least until the pain started.
Pushing himself into a sitting position, Aster opened his eye sockets, then immediately shut them closed tight against the stabbing light.
Shaking his head, he pulled up his shirt and traced one hand along his rib cage. Where the two pulsing stabs of pain kept bothering him, his fingers detected hairline fractures.
'Ouch. Well, I suppose it could have been worse, after-'
The doctor froze as recollection filled in the blankness in his mind like hot metal filling a mold.
Images refreshed themselves in his memory; the cooling system breaching and filling the air with super heated steam, capacitors arcing across the facility, alarms screaming,
panicked flailing at control panels by unthinking, unguided hands - his hands - trying to shut everything down before...
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