Danna swore as the lights flickered again, and then gave up completely, plunging her and her team back into darkness.

“Alex! Get to the generator, check all the connections. Marc! Transistors! Amelia! Consoles, what the hell is going wrong in the city?”

She wasn’t the only one yelling or cursing, as torches also flickered and died out, and people bumped into the equipment, over cable lines, each other.

Danna swore again in her harness, feeling around for the latch that controlled her height with one hand, and the other on the copper tubing that fed through to the city. It was no longer humming beneath her touch, but the metal was still warm. Maybe the city above was working fine, but Danna wouldn’t have placed any bets on it.

“Danna? Are you in here?”

She looked down and there was a lantern drifting into the room, illuminating her sister’s face. “Up here Rose. How’s the city?”

“Dark, although not as dark as it is down here.”

Danna swore again, and released the winch, which dropped her down to the floor where she could detach herself. “Reports people!”

Rose handed over the lantern to her, and then walked to the other console whilst people shouted reports from all over the control room. She picked up another lantern and began talking to it in a soft voice.

“I know it’s scary at the moment, but you don’t need to be afraid. It’s all going to be okay, my sister is working on fixing everything. Will you come out? It’ll really help us.” Gradually, the new lantern began to glow, gaining in brightness until it was as strong as the first.

“Thank you ever so much. You just keep doing that and we’ll have everything working in no time.” She hung that lantern over the console, and then picked up another one. Within ten minutes the entire chamber was bathed in the soft lantern light.

Danna wiped a hand over her brow, flicking the sweat off to one side. “Thanks Rose, that’s so much better.”

“Working down here is hard enough without having to deal with no light.”

“Do you think you could talk to the big guy? See if you can get him working again?”

Rose bit her lip. “I can try. I probably won’t be able to get him working again, but he might be able to tell me what’s wrong.”

“Good enough. Do it.”

Rose walked over to the central column, the copper glistening in the light, and placed her hand on it. She started talking, the words distant and muted, as if she was talking from far away. Danna looked around the lit room, and waved her team back to work. No use standing around when the whole city lacked light.

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