A blinding flash ripped the winter night and a ball of orange flame swallowed the giant excavator. The concussion swept over their hiding spot on the opposite side of the huge quarry like a blast of wind, the sound arriving seconds later.
“Far out!” exclaimed one of the team.
A huge cloud of smoke mushroomed above the destruction. Zaahir hunched down as the clatter of debris landing in the surrounding pit filled the air. But there was something else, a high, thin keening. Someone screaming.
Then Zaahir saw him tumbling from the cab of the excavator. The exploding diesel fuel had soaked his clothes. Flames hungrily fed on his jacket, pants, and hair.
“He’s on fire! He’s on fire!” Terra screamed.
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