Part 4: The Belly of the Deep Sea Cavern

Avatar Author: Nuno Teixeira Writer, artist, comic producer, internet lover. Read Bio

Going down was the easy part, Manuel thought.

Ten minutes later, and the team was 200 metres below the surface, at the mouth of the fabled cave. The sylph-elemental didn’t only help fill their lungs with pure oxygen due to a symbiotic process, it also powered a propeller unit attached to their tanks. It would take the explorers hours to return to the surface as they’d have to schedule stops along the way to avoid the bends. They’d be lucky if they could get back to the skiff before sunrise.

Carlos secured the guideline to an anchor point outside the cave entrance. Antonio and Louisa settled in behind him. Carlos turned to give them a thumbs up.

Manuel descended and joined the group; he gave them an affirmative wave. Carlos nodded and entered the cave, taking point with the guideline into the darkness.

View this story's details

Comments (2 so far!)

  1. Avatar August 2nd

    More technical notes… (a) Pure oxygen is toxic at pressures of 1.6 bar or higher. 1.6 bar is the equivalent to about 6 m underwater. 10 minutes to a depth of 200 m would be fatal. (b) If it isn’t fatal in your world, then there would likely be no need to decompress on the ascent since the bends is an effect of high partial pressures of inert gases (like nitrogen or helium) which they’re not breathing.

  2. Avatar Nuno Teixeira

    Sweet! Ya, I did some research into “longest dives” and “shortest times” and atmospheric pressure stuff. I tried to pick ranges that made (fantastical) sense to me and the rebreather/symbiotic unit they use. I wanted to get somewhere in between real and fantasy.

    I read about divers reaching phenomenal depths in minutes, to then take many hours to ascend. I took that as a guideline for the enhanced elemental-rebreather while still keeping ascent dangerous (maybe so that the elemental symbiote itself had to accomodate the pressure changes?!)… frig does that still make sense?

    Your knowledge in the real world counterpart stuff is so appreciated as I’m reluctant to go all-out fantasy with this.

Inspired by

Manuel activated his headlamp. He raised a hand to the captain and the navigator, signalling that the four explorers were about to dive into ...

Part 3: The Belly of the Deep Sea Cavern by Nuno Teixeira