She was just humming away doing what she had been doing for years, protecting those put in her charge. She was able to do this by nature, by habit, without needing to think about the details. Knowing that she could fulfill her responsibilities so easily gave her a certain peace of mind. She did what she had to do and she did it well.
Suddenly, maybe only in her imagination, she skipped a beat. Then another. Then she stopped altogether. Damn, it wasn't her imagination. Something inside was happening and it was bad!
It was another electrical outage and her motors slowed to a stop.
This had happened several times before and she and those for which she was in charge survived. But she was still worried about the frozen items below and the refrigerated items above: on the shelves and in the baskets, on the door and in the drawers and bins.
If the others trusted her and didn't open the door to see how she was doing, they could make it. Several times before it had been a close call but there had been no fatalities. Everyone had been saved. Would she get through this time and would all survive? Only time would tell and as usual, she was nervous.
In the darkness, here and there, she could feel a drop of water fall. A little loss of moisture would cause no harm but too much and it was doomsday for so many of her constituents, her wards, what she affectionately like to call her children.
They were all so susceptible to change. She knew that if they stuck together, huddled closely, they could keep each other comfortable and free from falling apart. It was a physical feeling, not emotional, but none-the-less, her emotions ran high at the potential for failure.
Suddenly the door opened and the light from the kitchen poured into the view. It was only a second so the milk could leave for someone's coffee and the door closed quickly afterwards. It opened once more, milk was replaced, and quickly closed again. They were being smart about the situation and that would help the outcome.
An hour or two went by without any more light disturbances. Actually, who could count the minutes or hours in the dark? Then there was a flicker of light, a spark of a motor hum and then nothing.
Again a few minutes later there was that familiar, hopeful flicker and spark. And sure enough, things began to run and she was able to get back to normal, on target.
She ran her motors in the dark to regain the lost degrees and eventually was able to stop. Some time passed and the door opened again briefly, the others were checking to make sure everything was OK. And it was.
Cooperation, community, intelligence, and stick-to-it-ness won the day and all were back where they needed to be. Ah, cool, calculated relief.