You lean forward, and blow out of your nose.\n\nSNIFF\n\nAs if your nose was plugged, and you expel the water and quickly seal up the mask.\n\nYou breathe through your regulator again \n\nalways breathing must have air\n\nas you [[follow the diving group|Cave entrance]]
And that's what just happened. The fish is clinging to you and thinks you are its friend or its food. It puts poison into your blood, into your heart. A thousand stinging needles shoot into you.\n\nIt's purple. You notice that last. A lovely color. The tentacles translucent and wet.\n\nIt's so friendly that perhaps you will touch it.\n\nOne of the other divers notices it and [[reaches for you.|stings]]\n\n\n
Just breathe, just breathe\n\nBut there's no air left now, is there\n\nAnd there's nothing but emptiness to breathe\n\nBut that is all right, because emptiness is where the stars live, and the ocean lives among the stars, and the ocean is everywhere, and it is now inside you\n\nand you are the ocean\n\nin this sublime coral place where you can rest.\n\nEND
Your buddy grabs onto you and tries to check your situation. She realizes perhaps that you have choked - literally, figuratively - something.\n\nShe grabs onto you and reaches for your bouyancy compensator. She is gesturing for you to inflate it, go up. She reaches for it <<if $bcd_checked>>and everything inflates. Then she begins to drag you toward the surface.\n\nThere is a chill in your body. It is not uncomfortable, but gentle. The water around you seems lighter now. Something is shoved into your mouth. A ribbon of sunlight splashes across your eyes and blinds you; it was bright for one moment and now suddenly dark. Your ears seal up and lock out all sound.\n\nAnd in the darkness and silence there is such peace and now it is nothingness<<else>>but it does not properly inflate. Her hands fumble toward your belt of weights, and she tries to quickly release it. \n\n<<if $weights_checked>>A heavy thing slips off of you and you are losing track of what those things are or why they were there. Something is shoved into your mouth. An arm, clamped, onto yours. A ribbon of sunlight splashes across your eyes and blinds you; it was bright for one moment and now suddenly dark. Your ears seal up and lock out all sound.\n\nAnd in the darkness and silence there is such peace and now it is nothingness<<else>>She cannot find the release and neither can you. Your hands flail at the side. Your mouth [[opens]]<<endif>><<endif>>
Pop.\n\nThere's another little release.\n\nYou are close to the bottom.\n\nLight streams down in shimmering curtains. It looks weightless but that is a lie. Water is all around you, thick and heavy. A solid wall above your head. \n\nBut there are colors here, coral and fish. Motion and life.\n\n[[Swim|Explore]]
You're standing on the edge of the boat.\n\nThe sea rocks below you, the horizon ahead lazily rolling. Your flippers hang over the edge of the wet wooden surface of the deck.\n\nTime for the check.\n\n[[Do the Pre-Dive Checks|Checking]]\n[[Skip it|No checking]]
All you see is motion without meaning and all you feel is numbness.\n\nA hand reaches for your weight belt - you're not sure whose.\n\n<<if $weights_checked>>The hand pulls on your belt and then pulls onto you, an arm gripping your body. And you're dragged up somewhere toward the sunlight with a beast still tangled around your leg, draining your will... your life\n\nBut you can't think about it now.\n\nEND\n<<else>>It's jammed. There's tugging and pulling and a bit of a fight. Someone loses their air supply. They try to give you an air supply and you realize that yours has fallen out too.\n\nWhen did that happen?\n\nYou feel as if the tendrils of the fish are wrapping up higher, around you. But that choking sensation is not on your leg, or your neck, but right in your lungs, as water fills them\n\nwithout your permission\n\nand fills them until the world is water.\n\nEND<<endif>>\n\n
You grab for the quick-release on your weight belt. <<if $weights_checked>>You pull. It seems drastic but you would rather leave it behind than be trapped down here alone. The weights fall to the ocean floor and you begin to rise. \n\nfirst slowly but then much more quickly.\n\ntoo quickly and you feel something like you are being punched and then it punches you again.\n\nSomething inside you burst and you are all alone as you fall back down into the water\n\nand the water claws around you hungrily.\n\nEND<<else>>\n\nBut you can't remember where it is. You fumble and reach and look around, sand kicks up and you finally grab it.\n\nThe weights fall to the ocean floor and you begin to rise. \n\nfirst slowly but then much more quickly.\n\ntoo quickly and you feel something like you are being punched and then it punches you again.\n\nSomething inside you burst and you are all alone as you fall back down into the water\n\nand the ocean claws around you hungrily.\n\nEND<<endif>>
You let go of your diving buddy and pull on your mask. It's completely wrong all wrong get it off get it off\n\nIt comes loose and floats away...\n\nYou pull it off, there's nothing to see, salt slapping your eyes and water rushing into your nose.\n\nIn a panic you lose your intake valve. You grab for it and it slips between your fingers\n\nLight from the sun dancing across them \n\nin slow motion\n\nThe last thing you see clearly.\n\nEND
You catch air, real air, into your mouth, and you see the boat in the distance. \n\nYou swim toward it, climb aboard, pleased that the dive went well.\n\nYou look into the sky and see the sun, warm and tropical. The light glitters on a droplet of water as you remove your mask.\n\nYou feel pain in your chest.\n\nYou're puzzled by it; it feels like nothing, but you feel your body collapse. Your knees touch the wet deck.\n\nThe instructor looks alarmed. You can see his face through the haze of wet sunlight. Someone says big words - "pulmonary embolism" - and you remember that one little cough as you rose to the surface.\n\nThat one little cough\n\nIs the last thing you remember.\n\nEND
Another splash of color makes you gasp in your throat. You inhale through your nose, accidentally.\n\nThere's no air in there, but you forgot. Your dive mask is a vaccuum stuck to your face. Rubber sucks into your nostrils and there is no air there no air\n\nYou remember you need to breathe through the regulator. But you don't do it smoothly, trying to gasp in fits and starts.\n\n[[Grab your buddy|forced abort]]\n[[Concentrate and fix it|choke]]
You swim on further and keep your eyes on your diving buddy at your side. She seems to be keeping her eyes on the instructor. \n\nA spire of a reef passes by you. You see the outline of some flaking shells out of the corner of your eyes.\n\n[[Admire wildlife|Water in mask]]\n[[Concentrate on breathing|Sting]]
There's a certain list of things you need to check before a dive. You run over all of them in your head.\n\n[[Check your bouyancy compensator|Check compensator]]\n[[Check your weights|Check weights]]\n[[Check BCD releases|Check releases]]\n[[Check air]]\n[[Good to go]]
The weight of the sea is still over your head, pressing down on your body. But here, at the bottom of the dive, the colors of sea life are intoxicating. Tropical fish stream past, gold and reds and black. A shimmering school with oil-slick scales rushes in perfect formation.\n\nIt's enough to take your breath away.\n\n[[Admire wildlife|harder to breathe]]\n[[Concentrate on breathing|Explore depths]]\n\n
The sunlight is above you and you are ascending.\n\nYou are going up fast. Dizziness sets in and white light pokes one eye like a needle.\n\nThey reminded you not to hold your breath but for just a moment, a very small moment, you hold your breath.\n\nYou start to breathe out and then, something tickles your throat.\n\nYou cough\n\nAnd there is a flutter in your chest, but all is fine.\n\n[[Sunlight|the boat]] dazzles you.
And still latched onto the more experienced diver, for safety, you turn your head toward the sun. You gesture up and she gestures up and you begin\n\n[[the climb|sunlight]]
The BCD (Bouyancy compensator device) needs to inflate and deflate properly to make sure that you can control bouyancy during the dive.\n<<silently>>\n<<set $bcd_checked = true>>\n<<endsilently>>\n\n[[Checked.|Checking]]
You grab for your buddy and try to communicate panic.\n\nShe sees that your mask is filling, and makes a gesture, pointing to her nose, her eyes\n\nYou can't see this well because your mask is filling\n\nand you feel suddenly quite uncharitable toward her.\n\nIn the moment you grab her, latch onto her, and you think you saw her roll her eyes or was it your imagination?\n\n[[Solve it yourself|alone]]\n[[Abort the dive|choke out]]
Your buddy swims into the cave entrance. You swim to follow her, but at the last second, you chicken out. \n\nYou try to reach out to her, to communicate that you don't feel ready. But with a flip of a finned foot she vanishes under the coral. Your fingers slip through water.\n\n[[Maybe you should abort the dive.|Abort Cave]]\n
You forgot what to do about this. You practiced, but... \nis it lean back?\n\nYou lean back, and try to breathe out your nose. The mask keeps filling. You aren't sure where the leak is. You accidentally breathe in, just a little, and water goes up your nose.\n\nIt strikes like a knife into your brain and pours back into your lungs.\n\n[[Just breathe|drown]]\n[[Get help|terror]]
You grab onto your buddy again and she seems to understand. But the weight of the oppressive sea is above you and will not let you climb.\n\nYou grab for - the what is it - the thing - the air bag\n\nthe BCR? bouyancy regulate whatever\n\nand to your immense relief it begins to inflate. You are heading up to the surface...\n\nBut the water fills your mask and you are entirely blind as you turn up to face the sun. You can't find it. You chase down a ribbon of light that looks right and end up going lower, seawater hammering your skull.\n\nA hand pulls on you\n\nA wave slaps you in the face and you see nothing more.\n\nEND
Your body is a cavern and this water must rush into it. Your lungs open and inhale. The liquid feels good and cold and tastes of salt at first and then it begins to burn.\n\nYour body is mostly water and now it is filling with water and water is all you ever needed.\n\nWater spreads out through your lungs from and into your stomach and out to your fingers and into your toes. You are as big as the world, taking in all of its oceans.\n\nThe water slowly fills up the world behind your eyes\n\nBlue blue blue\n\nEND
When you look back, you notice that a jellyfish has found you. You did not find it.\n\nIt has wrapped around your leg with several long tendrils and does not seem like it wants to let go. Was there a hole in your suit? \n\nYour leg feels numb.\n\n[[Attempt Abort]]\n[[Get your dive knife|stab]]
You grab onto your buddy and gesture, your only way to communicate.\n\nYou remember to breathe\n\nYour buddy gestures to the instructor; she is not sure how to handle this.\n\nThere is commotion and people are all around you.\n\nYou breathe -\n\nBut it [[stings]]
You keep breathing, because breathing is so important.\n\nIt's relaxing. In through the regulator. Out through the regulator, bubbles flickering away from your mouth as it expels the bad air.\n\nYou are floating and weightless.\n\nYou have no legs. Like a fish. an eel\n\na jellyfish, clamping its tendrils around [[your leg|hallucinations]]\n
You stop and watch the coral carefully. You look at the shells and the fish that swim among them. You see a little crawling thing on your mask - outside -\n\nno, inside... a little water is leaking into the bottom of your mask. It's filling in to below your eyes.\n\n[[Lean backward|panic]]\n[[Lean forward|unfogged]]
The diving instructor is going into a little coral cave, under a pale orange arch. Your diving buddy goes that way too.\n\n[[Go in|inside coral cave]]\n[[Don't go in|without your buddy]]
<<if $bcd_checked eq true and $weights_checked eq true and $releases_checked eq true and $air_checked eq true>>Everything checked. Time to dive.<<else>>Good enough. The group is about to leave.<<endif>>\n\nThere's you, the instructor, and five other divers. The woman next to you is your diving buddy. She doesn't look very athletic, but she says she's done this more than a dozen times now. This is only your second dive.\n\n[[Jump in]]
It was nothing, nothing but the entire cessation of sound on the right side of your head. But you gasp and almost lose your air trying to fight it, trying to make something inside work.\n\nYour buddy notices you are lagging behind and tries to grab you. A flash of red rolls out in front of your mask - so strange - red in the water, ribbons of unfurling cloth. It seems to be coming from you. You made it and it's somehow beautiful and fascinating.\n\nThere is light in your mask as you are being pulled toward the surface. But there is no sound\n\nNo sound forever\n\nEND
Following the group, you swim out another exit arch and into the open. Everyone stops and gets in a circle.\n\nEveryone looks at each other. The instructor points up, showing a plan to ascend. Nods of understanding among the tourists and you.\n\n[[Swim up|sunlight]]
You try to breathe through your mouth\n\nbut you forget how. The mouth and nose do not feel connected. There is water rushing into your nose and riding up backward straight into you. The water is filling your mask.\n\nYou shut your eyes to darkness.\n\nYou open them again to water, wobbling and foggy now in your vision. The mask is no longer sealed. The compensator fell out of your mouth. \n\nYou try to shut your mouth.\n\nYou feel a hand on your shoulder.\n\nYou feel the oppressive weight of the sea and then the sea leaps all at once inside you.\n\nEND
You reach for the knife in your equipment. It is not a weapon, they told you, but you know you must cut yourself free.\n\nYou remember to breathe\n\nYou stab out, at the jellyfish.\n\nYou strike it. And also your leg\n\nStreamers of blood unfurl in the water, rippling red fingers.\n\nThe knife falls from your hand.\n\nYou see it slowly falling into the underwater sand. The delicate dust cloud that forms when it strikes. A streak of red across blue beautiful in its contrast, swirling up from it.\n\nAnd then you pass out from the pain\n\nEND
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The cave wasn't so large, just a little structure that allows you to slip through.\n\nIt's beautiful. Serenity wraps around you, the cold comfortable embrace of the ocean. The fish here are not numerous and are tiny. But the ripples of coral skeletons colorful, and delicate, reaching fingers into tiny motes of sunlight.\n\n<<if $air_checked>>Your buddy and the team continue through the structure, swimming out under another coral arch.\n\n[[Swim out|pressure]]<<else>>And then you take a breath, carefully, through the mouth \n\nBut there's nothing\n\nYour eyes dart to the colorful gauge on your side. It's low - emergency low - when did that happen? Is there a leak?\n\n[[Just breathe]]\n[[share air]]<<endif>>
You try to adjust your ears, but it's still painful. Your head aches, sudden sharpness. You are trying to listen to your ears for some kind of pop.\n\n[[Wiggle your jaw|The depths]]\n[[Swallow again|ow]]\n[[Pinch your nose and swallow|The depths]]
The pressure on your ear feels okay.\n\nYou're looking at your diving buddy. She's wearing a dark blue wetsuit. The water around you is blue and the light is blue.\n\nBlue blue blue.\n\nYou feel pressure in your ears again. Like something pushing on your head inside.\n\n[[Swallow.|Still hurts]]\n[[Pinch your nostrils tightly.|Still hurts]]\n[[Pinch your nose and swallow at the same time.|The depths]]
You're wearing a weight belt, to help your descent. You need to make sure you remember where the quick-release is on the weights.\n\n<<silently>>\n<<set $weights_checked = true>>\n<<endsilently>>\n[[Checked.|Checking]]\n
Whatever. Everything is probably fine.\n\n[[Good to go]]
You think you can recover and you fumble at your side. You have a secondary air source and you can switch to it. You try to tell yourself you can leave this place if you must, but you feel the weight of water above your head and you know it is not simple.\n\nYou hold your breath.\n\n<<if $air_checked>>You find the secondary source and tug on it. You pull it to your mouth, making the switch. You breathe deep. Your lungs burn. The divers have gone on ahead and you try to follow with your buddy again. You see her and the instructor still in motion. There is pain in your chest.\n\n[[Follow|Cave entrance]]<<else>>You pull on the secondary source but you cannot find it or remember how it is used. Your regulator falls out of your mouth and as it does your mouth [[opens]]<<endif>>
You keep looking ahead, concentrating on breathing through your mouth.\n\nThrough the mouth. Through the mouth. Watching your buddy who is watching the instructor.\n\nYour leg grazes a little too close to one of the reefs. Something touches you - light, a caress from a feather.\n\n[[Look back|Jellyfish]]\n[[Concentrate on breathing|suffocation]]
You reach for your buddy and you gesture to the tank. Your buddy sees your problem immediately, and moves her secondary air source to your mouth.\n\nYou take it\n\neagerly, like a baby at suckle\n\nAnd instantly with one breath you are alive again. The pain in your lungs from holding your breath finally registers, but as you breathe you will not die.\n\nYou are latched onto her; she is your mother but it is [[all okay]]
The releases for your bouyancy compensator must fit snugly.\n\n<<silently>>\n<<set $releases_checked = true>>\n<<endsilently>>\n[[Checked.|Checking]]
There was no pop. And yet everyone else is still going down. Your pain is so small and so minor and so very invisible to them.\n\nYour head pounds and ears hurt and you think something might explode\n\n[[Something does]]\n\n
Amanda Lange
You need to check the tank pressure on your air. You need to see if the valve is open, and be sure you can breathe through the regulator.\n\nYou need to check the secondary air source, in case the first one fails.\n\nYou need air. You will die without air.\n\nThe regulator goes in your mouth.\n\n<<silently>>\n<<set $air_checked = true>>\n<<endsilently>>\n[[Checked.|Checking]]
The splashing sounds of other divers breaking the surface are muffled by your equipment. You pull your mask down. There's a moment of silence on the surface, but it doesn't last long. \n\nThen your ears are muffled by rushing water. A little pressure builds behind them.\n\n[[Swallow.|Down deeper]]\n[[Pinch your nostrils tightly.|Down deeper]]\n[[Pinch your nose and swallow at the same time.|Down deeper]]\n\n\n