He clicked the trigger several times – nothing. The scooter had died, its internals flooded from a seal that had surrendered to temperatures it hadn’t been designed to withstand.
Trying to ignore the dire consequences the loss of the scooter foretold, Luke released his grip on the dead vehicle, the weights strapped to its sides quickly sinking it to the bottom.
He really was on his own now.
In the ensuing silence Luke realized the water was alive with a variety of odd noises and he paused, trying to make sense of them. A strange sensation suddenly pressed intensely on his inner ear.
A rumbling sensation seemed to run through his entire body, shaking him. The pressure in his ears sharply increased, and he tried in vain to equalize against it.
The vibrations quickly grew into concentrated waves of force as Luke pressed his hands to his ears, his head pounding in agony.
The faint glow behind him suddenly increased in intensity, and as he looked back toward the sphere he noticed the pipe next to him appear to undulate – to leap.
The water around him visibly jumped, and an ear-splitting spear of sound drilled into his head. He felt his body ripple as a concussive wall of energy hit him, the glow behind bursting into a brilliant ball of orange that rapidly began expanding.
Panic engulfed him.
He turned and kicked wildly at the dense water, propelling himself away from the approaching horror, his whole body writhing in pain from the increasingly concussive shockwaves that coursed by. Unconsciously, he observed a section of the pipe beside him split open, the surrounding water immediately erupting into a boiling frenzy.
He kept kicking, clawing at the superheated water, the camera banging at his side with every frantic stroke. He swam blindly through a world lit an eerie orange by the aquatic nova that pursued him through water that was pulsing with the energy of a subterranean eruption.
The pipe he still unwittingly followed suddenly disappeared into a solid wall of concrete, and Luke ploughed headfirst into the unyielding side of the pier.
Lights burst behind his eyes, and he felt consciousness sliding away as he fumbled for the inflator hose of his rebreather.
Then darkness descended and Luke’s world winked out.