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I had to stop the machine. I left it as late as I could: it was the only thing keeping you alive. I knew that.

I jammed it, and I climbed, clambering up over the grinding, protesting gears, swinging from wheel to sprocket, reaching at last the trap door in the ceiling. My ceiling. Your floor.

I scrambled through. You weren't moving, and I feared I'd been too slow. But you opened your eyes, and, smiling, got to your feet.

Working together, the two of us were strong enough to break the glass, and here you are, in my arms.