Underwater chambers were not a barrel of laughs, let me tell you. The sadists who had built them clearly had a penchant for switches and very little air pockets. To make matters worse, they were timed. How they’d managed to do that thousands of years ago, I couldn’t tell you. What I could tell you was that I was out of breath and exhausted.
I’d tried to perform this circuit many times; I’d figured out the switch pattern, it was simply the timing that I was having trouble with. Each time I exited the pool, the door would scrape closed and I would then let a few expletives fall from my mouth and drop heavily to the floor.
Giving myself a time out, I sat at the edge of the pool as I tried to slow my breathing. I took in the room’s details: mosaics, with the tones of a sunset, decorated the walls with symbols and Mayan glyphs, redundant switches sat either side of the door, almost mocking me. I scoffed and looked away, trying to plan the route in my head and how I could possibly do it any faster than I had been.
By losing my backpack, boots and weapons, it would lighten my load; but there was no way that I could continue on my journey and leave these behind. I simply had to be faster. I closed my eyes in deeper thought, still feeling my heart want to break free from my chest.
The pulsing told me to rest in not so many words. My heartbeat thudded through my ears as my chest felt tight. I was frustrated to no end that I still hadn’t managed to clear this area yet, I was also frustrated that my body could continue to be the ultimate ruler in my activities.
I wasn’t getting back in this pool for a while, was I?