“No, please!” I begged her, still cowering in the debris of what had once been my laboratory. “Don’t come any closer!”
As always, she ignored my warning, crouching down in front of me. “Adam, it’s me! What happened? Are you all right?”
I shook my head fervently. “No, no!” I cried, trying to retreat further. I was against the wall, however, and she stretched out her hand towards me as I flinched.
For just a moment, I felt the touch of her fingers against my hand, soft and calming. I saw her mouth begin to open for an instant, but no words came out. Perhaps she could already feel herself diffusing.
And then, before my eyes, she broke apart, vanishing into puffs of smoke and fine particles. Just like everyone else I touched.
I stared around at the empty, ruined lab, that had seemed so full of promise just this morning. The field had collapsed, and I was the last one left. The rest were gone forever, unraveled out of existence.
I lifted my hands, holding them, trembling, before my eyes. Death, death to anything I touched.
Very carefully, no longer holding back my tears, I pressed both of my hands against my head. I closed my eyes as the rush of heat engulfed me.