When he landed in the water, the world appeared to blur. Ice-cold needles pierced his skin, and it felt as if a hand had pushed down his throat and wrenched all of the warmth and breath in his body. His arms and legs seemed frozen solid, all he could hear was the muffled cries of Tayna, telling him to get out of the water, and indistinctly see her knelt at the edge holding out her hand.
There was another voice that came to him, one he recognised, convincing him of the opposite. Go, she said, you have to go. It was the same voice, the one he had heard in the ocean, the one that had guided him. He was implored by the Bond, it felt like his heart was pressing against his ribs, trying to pull him under the surface. He took a huge gulp of air, burning through his throat, until his lungs felt like they would burst, and pushed himself under.
The cold twinged against his face, icing over his pores, and his hair tickled at the nape of his neck. He steeled himself against the water and slowly opened his eyes. The lake-bed seemed to glow green, the diffused sunlight reflected off of the bright algae caked across the descending ridges of stone. Minnows darted around him like bullets, their scales lighting the murkiness at the bottom. Will swam quickly, his body shivering as the temperature dropped the deeper he swam. The pressure closed around him, his head throbbing like between a clamp, and he grew more exhausted with each stroke.
Suddenly, the fear he had felt from the Bond vanished, and worry bloomed in his chest. His eyes ached as he gazed around, the water foggy with detritus. He concentrated, recreating the feeling of the Bond, letting his body hang limp in the water, hoping for the familiar tug. He felt it, he squinted ahead through the darkness, and he could have sworn the water rippled like a sonar beat in two short bursts. All at once he could sense her, like something was pulling him towards her, and he swam quickly.
She was hovering just above the bottom, her lips slightly parted and letting out precious air in bubbles, her pale skin tinted sickly green. Her arms and legs moved like swaying on strings, and her hair moved around her face like orange petals. She looked so graceful, her lashes golden on her cheeks, it was as if she was asleep.
Will's lung began to ache as he took her arm and pulled her up. The water pressed down on them, and Sayara moved uncontrollably like she was weightless. His hand around her wrist, in the back of his mind he noticed how slow her pulse was.
Sayara, stay with me, he thought desperately, circling his arm around her waist and trying to swim with one arm, her hanging limply over the other.
'Will...' she said, her voice rattling around in his head, as faint as a whisper.
Sayara! It's alright, I'm here. Just stay awake.
'I'm so cold...'
Crap, he thought, kicking furiously, the muscles in his arm screaming for reprieve.
'I...I can't breathe, Will. I can't -,' she sounded as if she was crying, panicking, but when he looked at her body at his side, there was no sign of life within her. The mental connection between them was so strained that he felt like his chest was going to explode, as if she was pulling on the end, hanging onto him for dear life.
All of a sudden, he felt Sayara slip from his grasp, he turned frantically and was met by Laguna, swinging Sayara's arm across her shoulders. She looked calm, and her hair floating around her like white chiffon. She reached out and lightly touched his neck, all of a sudden her voice flooded his head.
'Are you alright?' Will nodded. 'Good. Come on, we have to hurry.' She took her hand away, breaking the connection and kicking in sync with him to carry Sayara up. It was incredible how much easier it became, waiting as they rose closer and closer to the glass-like surface.