Gwen jolted at the touch, or more like grab, of a rough hand on her boot, pulling her out from underneath the furnace, horrid squeaks coming from the wheels of the roller she was propped up on. As soon as the cooler air hit her face, she immediately removed her work goggles and sat herself up on the rough ends of her elbows, gazing up at the dark haired boy who had pulled her out.
"Damn it, Leon!" She hissed at her friend, blowing a loose strand of choppy blonde hair from her eyes, "Do you want my face to get burned off or what?"
The girl of seventeen, though not vain in the slightest, was fairly certain that she looked awful right now, able to feel the tickle of little droplets of perspiration slide down her forehead and onto her undershirt, the color tinged gray from the oil and grease that she was positive decorated her usually pale face. For what seemed to be the hundredth time, the furnace that kept the textile factory reasonably warm had broken, and for what seemed to be the hundredth time, the heads of her section had called for her and Leon to fix it, seeing as none of the other older, more experienced mechanics ever felt like fixing something as simple as that. But, this was quite the temperamental furnace that had just grown more and more unreliable with age, so it was taking the usually quick-fixing girl all day to fix it with no help at all from her "assistant", who had spent most of the time flirting with the other girls their age who were making lace right outside the boiler room.
"Jeez, Gwen, chill!" The boy responded, holding his hands up in a defensive stance, though visibly holding back some chuckles, "I was just about to tell you that I'm leaving and that you should come too. Just tell the Heads that it's too shitty a furnace to fix so we can get out of here and not have to fix this stupid thing," He pounded his fist against the side of the furnace, "Ever again." Working mostly in the field of making new automobiles and such, Leon didn't quite have the patience, or willpower, his friend had when it came to repairing things, since he was so used to making new creations and not fixing old ones.
Plucking her red and white polka-dot rag from the pocket of her thick brown work pants with two brassy mechanical fingers, Gwen lightly dabbed at her face to clear away sweat before jamming the cloth back into it's place and looking back up at Leon. "Well, you can go on ahead then. I'll leave once I'm done fixing this thing. I've been working at it all day, so it shouldn't take much longer." Exhaustion showed in her voice, but she wasn't about to give up on a whole day's worth of work. What did irk her a bit was that her friend was just leaving on her. Of course, he didn't really do anything to help out, but he knew that she didn't like to be alone while working on things. Sure, there were plenty of people working in the factory, but if something were to happen, they wouldn't know how to handle it. Her green eyes flickered down to her mechanical arm. That was how she lost her real one.
While still in training to be one of her section's mechanics, her mentor had left for just a short while and allowed her to work on a machine by herself. It was a fairly dangerous machine, used for grinding up wood to make wood chips and sawdust, but at her age, it was a common practice to be exposed to the more risky things they might find themselves fixing later in life. Being quite a skilled girl, Gwen had managed to make it run again. With the blades still spinning, she had turned around to grab another tool from her toolbox. At the time, her hair was quite long, nearly down to her waist, so as she turned, the bottom half got sucked into the machine. When she went in a panic to get it out, the caught hair was sliced off, but her arm was stuck. People nearby tried to assist her, but they didn't know how to operate the machine. By the time proper help came, it was far too late and her arm was reduced to nothing but marred chunks of flesh and bone. Though she was given a specially made mechanical arm and cut her hair short, the fear still remained.
Of course, the furnace wasn't nearly as dangerous as the wood chipper so she shouldn't be worried, but there are just some things you cannot control how you feel about. But Gwen, being the girl she was, kept mum about her feelings and watched as Leon let out a sigh and walked over to the door.
"Alright, fine. Just don't take too long, okay?"
The blonde placed her goggles back over her eyes and nodded, "Yeah, just tell my dad that I'll be home a bit late"
With a curt nod, Leon walked out the door and shut it, leaving Gwen alone. Heaving out a sigh, she laid back and scooted herself back under the furnace where she would stay, sweaty and hot, for another half an hour. It felt like days.
The sound of a fire crackling again made her practically sing with glee, the room beginning to go back to the dreadfully hot state it should have always been in. She undid a few buttons on her dark green shirt, revealing the dark red tank top she wore underneath. The pendant tied around her neck was hot to the touch and so was her arm, but Gwen didn't care. She would be out of this hellhole in a few seconds anyway.
The mechanic collected her tools and roller, tucking them all under her arm with care. Now, she would just have to double check that it was running smoothly. Gwen gingerly placed her hand on the door that was placed on the front of the furnace and leaped back in surprise, not because it was hot and burned her hand, but because instead of red flames jumping out at her, a strange purple one did.
As a whole flurry of unnaturally purple colored flames flew out of the inside of the furnace, Gwen watched in both confusion and awe, the blazing lights building up to form a large violet colored hole. It had a slight suck to it, but nothing that would actually lift her up and pull her in. No, curiosity was the only thing attracting the girl to this strange formation.
Setting her supplies down on the rough concrete of the ground, she cautiously took baby steps forward until she was right in front of the portal, the suction coming at her a bit stronger now. Her gut screamed for her to back up and leave, but Gwendolyn Spade was a curious young lady and swore that she was able to see something past the hazy purple fog.
Maybe if I just lean in a little further....
All she was able to do was let out a gasp before she found herself spiraling down the violet colored portal.