When he was finished with the small canister, he handed it to her and got on the bike in front of her. Sonora turned the silver container over and over in her hands, inspecting it from all sides. All she could see was one small button, which she pushed.
It triggered a tiny opening and a great blast of air shot out of the container hitting her in the face. She toppled off the back of the bike turning round and round in the water like a weightless astronaut.
The man smiled. His hand darted out and grasped her flailing one, pulling her back to the bike. This time, he sat her in front of him.
Sonora had managed to keep a hold on the little breather and started to examine it again. But when she began to push the button, this time away from her face, he took it away. Her hands followed his. But before she could get it back, he had plopped it back into the side compartment.
Like I'm an errant child.
He pushed a lever on the controls, and the bike started. Slowly at first, then building up speed, they began to glide through the water. It was faster than the underwater scooters she had seen the divers use. Its speed surprised and disoriented her.
It was a strange sensation, traveling through the water that fast. She turned her head and pushed back until his body blocked her from going any further. Shielding her face with one hand, she held on to his thick forearm with the other.
After some time, Sonora got used to the sensation. She peeked out from behind her hand, looking all around them. She could no longer tell where they were. Her heart sank, she suspected they were far away from where she entered the ocean.
Turning her attention to the gauges on the bike, Sonora inspected the lighted lettering. It was strange to her but similar to his tattoo. Although she couldn't claim to be a language expert, they were unlike anything she had ever seen before. She reached out a hand and ran her finger over them. A mixture of some kind of hieroglyphics and letters. She would guess some ancient language.
Who was this guy, she wondered, was he American? It was definitely possible he wasn't. They had been using some pretty universal sign.
He tapped her shoulder and pointed to the seascape in front of them. Ahead she saw the dark water lit up by a few beams of light that were randomly scattered through it. Continuing to stare in the direction he indicated, she started to make out other shapes. They were dolphins, a lot of them. Several groups of the mammals were moved through the water. Sonora's face brightened as she watched them play and tease each other.
The nice-sized pod had at least fifty dolphins to it. Swimming alongside them, with their unique side-to-side motion, were just as many sharks. Sonora knew it was a myth that sharks and dolphins didn't swim in the same area, but seeing such a large mixture did seem unusual. Something about the dark water and the sharks made her nervous. A shiver traveled down her spine.
A couple of grey dolphins broke off the main group, chirping as they came. One of them grabbed up a bit of seaweed. The man slowed and then stopped the vehicle.
Both dolphins headed straight for him. When they arrived, he gave each a rub down their side from head to tail. They warbled and whistled continually to themselves and to him. He smiled at them, his eyes bright. It was clear he enjoyed their interaction. But when he chirped and clicked back so perfectly that Sonora, at first, didn't realize it was him, she quickly turned and looked at him in surprise.
The mammals then turned their curious attention to her. Swimming back and forth a few times, they eyed her as they talked. She giggled when they bumped their noses into her and reached out to pet their smooth, shiny skin.
Turning their attention back to the man, the dolphin with the seaweed threw it to him. For a few minutes, a game of fetch ensued between the man and the animals. But eventually he whistled, and they raced back to their pod.
He started up his vehicle, and moved ahead only a small amount before pointing forward again and saying, "Look!" Once again, the booming, all-encompassing sound once again frightened her. Shaken to her core, without a thought, Sonora jumped off the bike.
Surprised by her, it took him a moment to respond. That gave her the advantage. Sonora made it further than she would have thought before realizing there was nowhere for her to go.
She stopped in the water in time to see the dolphins racing back. They stopped short in front of her. The sharks behind them moving from right to left and back again.
The mammals, so friendly a few minutes ago, were still. There was no chatter from them now. They were as silent as the sharks they were keeping company with. These were not playmates. They were watchdogs.
When the man uttered couple of clicks and whistles, they happily swam away as if it had all been part of the game. He grabbed the back of her air tank and swung her back to the seat in front of him.
The ease with which he'd recaptured her was irritating, and she huffed. Air bubbles puffed out of her regulator into his face and thoughts ran through her mind as if she were speaking to him.
Good! I wish you were getting more than just air bubbles, you big, evil man. Wow, I wish I were better at insults. And stop talking to me underwater! Can't you tell it's freaking me out?
If he was aware of her annoyance, he ignored it, as he engaged the bike again. He had barely moved it a few yards when his arm came over her shoulder, and he pointed ahead again.
In the distance, Sonora saw lights. Not just a few of lights as if there were another underwater vehicle but hundreds. She saw hundreds of lights.
A/N: Thank you for reading! I hope this new development in interesting. :)
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Sea Bound (A Sanctuary's Aggression Novel)Science Fiction
#159 on Scifi Hot List. A Golden Pen, Pen and Ink, and Rose Award Winner. In this sci-fi fantasy, Sonora yearns for more than life has given her until the day a shadow becomes a guide to a world she could never have imagined. A new world that offers...