~ 18 May, 1742 ~
Lightning streaked across the sky as Doctor Linaeus Chromwell haphazardly thrust his fist into the forward section of his new clockwork machine, in it clenching an odd looking screwdriver. He twisted nearly a dozen cogs before withdrawing it, retracting the bit, and sliding out a different one using the sliding controls on the side. He slid it sharply back into another series of wheels, and twisted another half dozen devices before quickly straightening and dashing around to the other side of the machine and pulling the central lever upwards sharply.
The candle-light in the room flickered as the machine began to click and whirl, and the lightning outside seemed to arch oddly towards the bell tower. The sounds of the machine were drowned out momentarily by a thunderous clap of thunder. The weather could not, however, drown out the angry shouts and yells of the mob at the foot of the tower, nor the curses that flooded up from blow, echoing around the massive bell-tower.
“Doctor Chromwell, there isn't time! If you don't give yourself up now, they'll hang us for sure!”
“Patience is a virtue, Casimir...” he muttered, not looking up from his work.
“Doctor, please, y–“
“The more you pester me, the longer this is going to take!” he snapped, throwing his apprentice a withering look before climbing into the machine with his screwdriver and sliding it between the cogs, wheels, dials and levers on the dash. “I'm almost done.”
Casimir sighed impatiently. He threw a dark look at Chromwell's machine, then the stairs, then back to the machine. “I'm sorry,” he said, tearing off his work belt and throwing it to the floor before dashing down the stairs. Chromwell cursed under his breath - when that fool of an assistant left the tower, there was no way he'd be able to keep the mob from getting in through the open door behind him. There was a surge of hateful yelling from outside, and he knew that his student had been taken by the mob. He heard the crashing of angry footsteps on the stairs below, and knew it was only a matter of minutes before they reached him.
With a final slide of his screwdriver, he shifted one more control and the machine surged into life, the cogs and wheels within spinning, the grinding of metal and wood clicking against each other filling the room, drowning out even the sounds of the clock itself. With a shout of triumph, he straightened in the control seat and grabbed hold of the lever to his left. With a final look at the staircase and the murderous mob at it's summit, he pushed the lever downwards, and watched as arches of lightning enveloped his machine, and bright blue-white light consumed his vision.