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Manhattan Lights

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He stands in the basement of his home, chewing his lip. It is nearly midnight and the final touches have been finished. Bats squeal in the night air outside his quaint house in Manhattan, the house that appears normal but is filled to the brim with strange equipment and the work of a neurotic scientist. He prides himself on being precise, so so precise. He must know every detail. It is nearly midnight, five minutes and thirty eight, seven, six, five, four seconds to midnight to be exact.

He prides himself on knowing every last detail, and yet. He can't. He had to burn everything for this project, destroyed every last scrap of it, and if this doesn't work then everything else is a bust too. He can't possibly know what this will do. The immediate future he can foresee with ease, should everything go according to plan. He doesn't know what will happen after that though. Will the project fail after its activation? Will it sustain for a short while, clinging to what small fragment of life it had, then crumble into god knows what? There are so many possibilities, so many outcomes. He wants only one.

Only one. He slams the lever down.

The air is crickly, crackly, full of electrified particles, the currents flying and frying the air. He jumps back from the machine and cries out, flinging his gloved hands up to cover his face. Pulses run through the laboratory, flashing pulsing throbbing. One wings out and flicks across the surface of the floor, and more join it, dancing to some strange buzzing music.

With a heavy kthoom, the industrial lights shutter out and die in small puffs of smoke and spark. The lightning dies in the air, the very last of it travelling straight to the heart of his invention. There is a quiet whining in the air, a mechanical sound that slows and fades, and it leaves a good taste in his mouth. No, it doesn't taste good. It's bitter and metallic and warm. That's blood. Blood. He bit his tongue when he jumped. Blood, such a funny thing, he thought wryly. It is made of iron, so vital to his machine, and it fuels all living things, but his machine had none. The irony.

The silence is, as the saying goes, deafening. He thinks to himself, today is April 23rd, 1923, it is approximately four minutes to midnight, and he is in his laboratory in the basement of his house in Manhattan. There are bats outside, or there were. There's no sound now. Nothing. Then there's a quiet whirring, and he squints into the darkness. He thinks he can see movement but-

And there it is. A subtle snickt resounds through the deadness, confused shuddering following it. He rushes to the table, the metal of its edges now scarred and steaming. He's careful not to touch anything, lest he want to be electrocuted by the remnants of lightning still thriving beneath the workspace's quivering surfaces. Blue light, blue blue blue floods the area, not much but it's so, so bright, and it means so, so much. Success.

"Hello, Robo. My name is Nikola Tesla," he says.