Dash transformed before Vale. His cocky demeanor replaced by a gentle confidence while he worked. Vale kept her eyes averted, standing nearby while Dash opened up Sky’s chest and began to assess the situation.
“How did he get this way?” Dash asked as he reached for a piece of equipment Vale didn’t recognize.
She forced her voice steady when she answered. “He was electrocuted.”
“AI’s?” Dash asked glancing up at her. She hesitated. He put the tool down and turned to look at her. “Look, you need to be honest with me here. I can’t start messing around inside with the wrong information.”
“Yes. An AI that I punched through the face with my fist. He fell into the ocean and the AI fell in after him, shocking him.”
Dash nodded, seeming unfazed by the information. “Good to know.” She watched Dash pluck a small item off of his prep table and reach inside of Sky. “There.” He turned to look at Vale. “Your turn.”
He stepped to the side motioning her to stand above Sky. “What do I do?” Vale asked, moving into place, still unable to look inside.
Dash motioned to the table. “If your arm can do what I believe it can, you can transform it into a pair of tweezers. Pick up that small gear, place it in between those other gears inside, and add a small jolt. That will start his heart. Then we will patch him back up.”
Vale stared at Dash for a moment. He already knows too much. Can I afford to transform my arm again? “His life is in your hands Raven,” Dash said calmly, leveling her with a determined stare.
Vale swore internally and reached for the gear, transforming two of her metal fingers into a set of tweezers. Then she turned and forced herself to look inside of Sky, ignoring the sudden desire to hurl. Keep it together, this would be the worst time possible to throw up. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath.
“Not to rush you here, but we only have about thirty seconds left before his heart has to be beating.” Vale’s eyes snapped open, urgency shooting through her body like adrenaline. She leaned forward but was stopped by Dash, his fingers wrapping around her metal wrist.
“Take a deep breath. You can’t rush in.” Vale nodded and took in a deep calming breath. Dash let her arm go and she leaned down. She forced her tweezer hand steady as she delicately placed the gear in place. “Good. Now give it a good jolt,” Dash said, his voice gentle as he watched her work.
Vale imagined a small spark coming out of her tweezer fingers but nothing happened. She imagined it again and still nothing. “Oh no.”
“What is it?”
She glanced up at Dash. “I don’t know how to do it.”
Dash’s face was unreadable as he stared back at her. “I’m sorry, what now?”
“You heard me,” she said trying not to panic.
“Well, you better figure it out. We have about twenty seconds left.”
Vale stared back down at Sky. She had never had to think about transforming lightning before. It just exploded from her hand the first time she was attacked. Her head spun. Can it only come out all at once?
She ignored him, trying to wrack her brain over a pattern she may have missed. She imagined shooting him with a spark to protect herself but nothing happened.
“Ten seconds,” Dash said, some of his calm disappearing.
Think, think, think.
“I know! I’m trying not to fry him! Give me a second!”
“That’s all we have Raven! SECONDS!”
“SO SHUT UP AND LET ME-!” A sudden burst left her fingertips, jolting into the gear. She felt Sky’s heart skip to life. She yanked her hand away, afraid to shoot him with any more power. Vale bit back a sob of relief at the sound, a steady rhythm, a promise that he was alive.
Dash sighed. “Good work.” He moved back into her spot as she took several steps back. “Maybe don’t cut it so close next time.” She nodded mutely, beyond words. Not caring to argue, too thankful to give a witty response.
“I can take it from here.” Dash tilted his head towards the door. “Head out that door. Go down the hall until you reach a green door. Get some rest. It’ll take me a while to finish up.”
She didn’t move, glued to the floor, hating the idea of leaving Sky. “I’ll come get you when I’m done.” Her adrenaline had started to fade, reminding her of just how tired she was. “Oh and take that crutch. I’ll take a look at your leg a little later.” Vale found herself nodding and hobbling out of the room with the wooden crutch, too exhausted to argue or hide her injury. There was no point in hiding any of it. Dash knew far more about her situation than she wanted. But he had also saved Sky’s life. For a price, a small voice reminded her.
She stopped at the small changing room, retrieved Sky’s journal, and shoved it into her waistband. Then, continuing down the hall, Vale made her way to the green door where she found a bed inside. Collapsing on top of the comforter, she had enough energy left to tuck the journal under the pillow before she fell asleep on top of the blankets.