He cursed, vehemently, as his left boot slipped off the rock, shaking his very grip of the cliff-side. It took all his strength to not let go and fall, four hundred feet straight-down, to his death. Twice now, his shoes had slipped from the wet stone, and each time, he had hung on by a single hand. He'd waited months for this day, and nothing was going to stop him.
With a groan of effort, he pulled himself up another few feet. The rope around his waist was cutting off his circulation, but that didn't matter, as long as he succeeded. His arm snaked up to the next handhold, and his foot lodged itself firmly in a new crack. Almost there. He climbed another foot higher. Almost there.
He barely realized he had made it; his hand simply fell over the edge, rather than finding the next hold. He hardly cared, really: every muscle in his body screamed in agony.
Acting on instinct alone, he rolled onto solid ground moments before his legs cramped, and he lost all control of his appendages. A reflexive laugh clawed its way out of his throat, more a method of dealing with the pain than anything.
He could have lay there for hours, oblivious to everything but his pain, but he became acutely aware of the rope still crushing his waist, so with massive effort, he rolled onto his stomach, and grabbed the rope. Slowly, painfully, he pulled the cord up, lifting the heavy box tied to the other side to the top. His arms were going to fall off, he was sure of it. Nevertheless, he kept pulling. The box was his entire reason for coming here, after all- losing it now would invalidate all of his suffering.
He wasn't sure how much longer he could have lasted, but suddenly the bag was beside him, and he was on his back again. This time around, he couldn't move at all, and blackness flickered on the edges of his vision. A tired grin flickered across his face, and he welcomed the dark, with its soothing embrace and peaceful bliss.
He woke abruptly at dusk. Parched and tired, he sat up, grunting as his sore muscles clenched up again. The full moon shone down on the little mesa, illuminating everything almost as much as the sun. He waited for a minute or so before he moved again, attempting to get some semblance of response from his limbs.
Eventually, after much consternation and painful stretching, He managed to get to his knees, and crawled over to the box. Flipping the latches, he opened the lid, and a warm multicolored light washed over his face. He instantly felt lighter, and his aching alleviated, somewhat. Thus was the power of the materials he used. He pulled a leather bag from the box, and looked inside, counting the number of metal ingots inside. He checked the side of the box as well, where a number of blue feathers were stored in separate 'sheaths'.
Satisfied, he shut the box, and stood, albeit awkwardly. He turned to the other edge of the cliff, where a large, metallic rock sat slightly back from empty space. His reason for coming up here in the first place. He lifted the box and limped over to the green-tinted rock.
Setting down the wooden container, he pulled a strange, glowing hammerhead of gold and silver from the box, along with a short rod of metal. Connecting the two pieces, he tossed the hammer into the air experimentally, pleased with the balance. It was a surprisingly light tool.
From there, he pulled the bag of ingots from the box, and emptied it onto the metallic rock. He grabbed the glowing materials from the box as well, and spread them out evenly over the green surface. He twirled the hammer thoughtfully, then took a light blue orb and a pink orb, and placed them side by side, next to one of the silver ingots. He drew back his hammer-arm, and slammed it down onto the materials.
Rather than smashing into the rock, the hammer went right through the three things, as if a ghostly apparition. It passed through the rock as well, and swung out at his side. He looked at the result, content. The green rock underneath the former materials glowed with energy, and the ingredients were separate no longer. In their place, a shining bar of metal pulsed with newfound power. He lifted the ingot appreciatively. It was far lighter than it had been previously. He reached into the box, and pulled one of the feathers from its spot on the side. Adrenaline rushed through his veins as he worked, all of his previous pain defied and ignored. He was so close.
He touched the feather to the glowing ingot, and watched in fascination as it was literally sucked into the metal. Instantly, a change occurred: the bar weighed next to nothing, as if it was barely heavy enough to stay down on the ground, and not float into the sky. He grinned, exhilarated, set the finished bar back inside the box, and pulled out the next set of materials. With a light heart and a fierce grin, he set to work.
He finished the creation of the almost-floating metal as the moon began its descent across the sky. From there, he pulled a chisel made of the same material as the hammer from the box, and began the detailed work of creating his dream. He [I]would[/I] succeed. He knew it.
The sky was lightening when he finalized his work. With a sigh of exhaustion and contentment, he sat, cradling the massive jumble of pieces in his hand. They didn't look like much, yet, but there was one final piece of the puzzle to be completed. He arrayed the parts on the green, metallic rock in a confusing pattern, one that made sense only to him. He grabbed the chisel again, and started the second to last step, etching a pattern into the metallic rock. A circle, one he had memorized from a book in the library. A fusion circle.
Once completed, he pulled the last item from the chest: a flawless, many-faceted diamond. The final piece. Setting the jewel in the middle of the circle, he settled down to wait for sunrise, when the reaction would occur. He didn't wait long before the first ray of light cleared the horizon.
The diamond lit up with the morning sun, and launched the light in all directions. As he watched, the entire stone lit up like a lantern, and tendrils of energy slowly fizzled into the air, one by one obscuring the metal pieces and parts. He watched in awe as it flashed blindingly in the dawn light, sparking and flashing rapidly. He had to close his eyes to avoid losing his sight.
When he finally opened them again, his jaw dropped open a little. There, sitting on the rock, was a pristine pair of metallic, feathered wings. He moved as if in a dream, slowly approaching the device and lifting it off the stone, and examined the work of art. Aside from the perfectly shaped, almost weightless wings attached to a main frame of sorts, two pairs of straps- obviously to secure the mechanism to the user's back- branched off from the frame.
The spell broke suddenly, and he slipped the wings onto his back, excitedly securing the straps and slipping a loop around each of his fingers. He clenched his fingers experimentally, and the wings whipped downward, nearly blasting him off the cliff. He laughed in delight, and steadied himself. This was it: his dream for years, and his project for months. He grabbed the hammer and chisel, kicked the box off the edge in his excitement, and took several steps back.
Without a second thought, he dashed toward the edge of the cliff, and hurled himself off the edge, spreading his arms and clenching his fists. The wings flapped once, twice, three times; and then he was lifted into the air, riding the wind. He shouted jubilantly into the air, his voice echoing over the hills. He unclenched his hands, and the wings stilled, unfurled. The wind caught him, then, and sent him gliding over the world.
He quickly became accustomed to the new 'terrain'. A simple lowering of the shoulders caused him to descend, and a simple twitch of the fingers caused him to rise. He soared over the earth in happiness, spinning, whirling, and diving as he became accustomed to the wings. Up down, left right. He veered toward a cliff-side and stretched out his feet. They hit the wall and he started running, up the side of the cliff. As his speed waned, he kicked off, and flipping backward into open space once again, and whirling down, picking up speed again.
He sped toward a forest, smiling savagely as he reached out with a hand. He glided across the tree tops, plucking leaves from the trees as he wove in and out of the taller ones. He'd finally done it. After years of dreaming and months of planning, he'd done it. He was the first man to play with the birds on their own turf, the first person to ride the wind.
He was the first man in flight.
[U]NOTES AND STUFF[/U]
-Inspired by a piece of techno music by the duo 'Approaching Nirvana', called 2nd Flight, and the legend of Icarus.
-The wings are a representation of Angel Wings, in case you couldn't guess.
-Character is unnamed for a reason.
...I think that's it. Enjoy~
...Oh, and this was written in about 2 hours with no editing, so yeah, don't expect much.