Ana Lucia : Critical Mass

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Ana Lucia : Critical Mass

(c) Pinglis, 2016. Not to be reproduced without permission.

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Notes to the reader.

Anyone who has experience of being underwater wearing a mask knows that the peripheral vision of the wearer is severely limited. In other words, a diver can only really see what is directly in front of them at any one time.

This story is written with ‘omniscient viewpoints’ – that is, the story may be told from the perspective of the different characters (or narrator) all within a short space. This is not a usual practice for short stories as it can be confusing. However, for the believability of describing what a diver may see underwater, especially when stressed in a perilous situation, it is used here.

Otherwise, this story is unashamedly based upon a few things.

Firstly, a certain Lost character played by a certain female who I would put into the top 3 most eligible scuba girls imaginable. Why? She’s tough but sometimes vulnerable, ruthless, resourceful with guile and strength. Deadly attributes when required yet an interesting handful otherwise. Plus, she’d look so very good in any gear that she chose to wear. See if you can guess who she is. (Compare how you picture her with how I do – an image is at the end of the story for those who get through it all).

Secondly, it has its roots in a certain James Bond film.

No doubt Ana Lucia will feature again in other stories.

Contains scuba, scuba fighting, forced scuba drowning (not graphic), scuba erotica.

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The aircraft descended gradually and slowed to just above it’s stall speed, for which the pilot had deployed full flap. They were now fully occupied trying to keep the nose up so the belly landing would cause the least amount of damage to the airframe. Just metres below now, the calm surface of the sea scattered only faint moonlight. Conditions were almost perfect.

The device taped to the upper part of the cockpit panel was programmed to emit different tones to audibly guide the pilot to the landing location. It now produced a steady tone which meant it was within two miles of its final destination.

The pilot, clearly a woman despite the oxygen mask that covered the lower part of her face, throttled back and watched as the altimeter needle fell to zero. She braced for impact.

Her aircraft hit the water with less force than she expected. She used the rudder controls to try to keep it in a straight line but it was largely pointless as sea water was spraying across the cockpit glass and the night time visibility was almost nil. The plane skidded left and right but her skill prevented a wing tip dipping into the sea which could have flipped them over and, eventually, the aircraft came to a rest in the slight swell.

She looked down to her right – and pulled the undercarriage lever. She heard a gurgling as the undercarriage doors opened, then the whirr of the wheels being lowered. The plane dipped lower into the water as water filled the space where the wheels were now lowering from and it began to sink lower into the water. She removed her helmet and slipped on the goggles she had shoved down the side of her seat at the start of her flight.

Still covering her nose and mouth was the rubber cone of the aircraft’s own air supply and a corrugated hose connected it to a port on the cockpit panel down to her left. She tapped the dial on the cockpit indicating how much air she had left and she just had managed to see it reporting OK when the cockpit lights fused and went out. Sea water started to gurgle up around her legs and she felt afraid and claustrophobic, just like in the drills she had been through.

Her pulse raced and she breathed nervously, as she pushed the mask against her face hoping that the seal would remain good under the water.

Seconds later, just as the water bubbled up around her face, she remembered that she still had the helmet on so she quickly took it off and pushed it behind her seat. She watched as the sea lapped over the cockpit glass all around her and she crossed her fingers for luck.

The aircraft slipped beneath the sea and stayed upright on its descent to the sandy bottom just a few metres below. The woman in the pilot’s seat was in her 30s with an attractive face, shortish jet black hair and green eyes. She breathed heavily, not wanting to be strapped into the seat but she would not be there for long just as long as they turned up on time.

Eventually, the plane groaned as it settled on the bottom and she waited, turning her head left, right and upwards for some kind of indication.

Then, she was bathed in light, just for a split second. She craned her head around to look behind her. Another flash.

She looked ahead, out of the cockpit glass and saw multiple flickering faint lights and she closed her eyes. She thought that the light had blinded her and she was seeing stars.

She felt alone and a little afraid.

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The lead diver finned hard towards where the aircraft should lie. The plane had almost passed directly over their inflatable boat, right on schedule but not quite on target. She was a little annoyed but it was a dark night and she knew that she would not have been able to do any better herself. The main reason for her annoyance was the change to the agreement at such a late stage. Still, she had some last second orders relating to the problem that she would enjoy carrying out.

Bubbles streamed from the regulator mounted on top of her twin tanks, just behind her head, which fed the twin corrugated rubber hoses connected to her mouthpiece. Her body was entirely encased in a smooth, black wetsuit and she had jet fins on her feet. She felt very confined in the suit, and it always felt erotic to her, no matter how often she wore one. Around her slender waist were a handful of lead weights on a belt with a stainless steel quick release clasp. On her upper arm and thigh were large dive knives. She wore a black oval mask. Strapped to her scuba tank harness was a black rubber flashlight. She lifted it up, pushed it out in front of her and turned it on.

She breathed quickly from the exertion and looked behind her. She could see the recovery team follow her lead and their flashlights illuminate all at different times. Six flashlights in all.

The light beams from the flashlights waggled as the divers holding them finned to keep up. Her brown eyes scanned ahead of her and her lips partially snarled around her mouthpiece. Relative to the other divers, she was quite short, but clearly had all the required leadership skills and the other members of the team followed her instructions without question. All but one, but the lead diver had her suspicions already. She was a good judge of character and she doubted that she was wrong on this occasion.

She scanned in front of her looking for the strobe that the aircraft had been fitted with. It activated at a particular depth and it should have been on by now…”It had better work,” she thought, just as an arc of light illuminated her from dead ahead. Then darkness. Then light..

“That’s the strobe,” she thought and adjusted her course left, and down, to rendezvous with it.

Her team followed.

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The pilot was getting nervous. The strobe light was spooking her and it was so bright that she couldn’t adjust to the darkness properly to see the air gauge on the cockpit any more and it occurred to her that no one would come before her air ran out. She panicked and her hand grasped the cockpit emergency release lever. No, they had to recover the payload tonight as it could be seen from the air in the daylight and it would be found too easily.

Her hand relaxed on the lever and she brought it over her mask, instead, holding it to her face, and sucked on the air it gave.

She breathed deeply, picturing her dive buddy Claire’s face in front of her, and thought of the first time she had buddy breathed with Claire – she was the one who had calmed her when she had panicked on her first open water dive. They’d met when the base she was stationed at had opened up their pool for scuba lessons and Claire had sometimes come to cover for another instructor if they could not attend. She always looked forward to Claire coming and as their friendship grew, she covered more often until she came all the time.

Her breathing returned to normal as she relaxed and thought of the times that they had spent together. Underwater, out of water and in bed.

She wished she was here with her now.

Just then, another pulse of light caused her pupils to contract behind her goggles. Then she saw some different dots of light ahead; these were moving around in an irregular pattern. One distinct one followed by several others, less so.

Her heart pounded. They were here at last.

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The lead diver arrived at the nose of the plane and held her hand out to the metalwork, skimming her body across it as she finned towards the cockpit. The glass was still in place so she looked over the side of the cockpit for the external release lever. She shone her flashlight along the side of the fuselage and was just about to pull the lever when a loud crack, followed by bubbling filled her ears. Instinctively, she reached for her knife and looked around but then noticed the cockpit canopy was no longer in place – it had already floated away in a cloud of compressed gas escaping.

The pilot must have released it.

She finned up to the edge of the back of the cockpit and turned the strobe off. Then, she swam over the top of the cockpit, looking down. The pilot’s head was swinging left and right, her mask was intact on her face. She saw the hose connecting the mask to the cockpit but looked beyond, onto the cockpit floor. When she couldn’t see the object straight away, she finned down the fuselage, along towards the nose then back up again, grabbing onto the cockpit rim as she pulled herself up.

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The pilot watched as the canopy floated upwards and to one side then became nervous when she saw no one outside. She swung her head around then saw the diver’s head appear over the side of the fuselage. The diver shone their flashlight into her face at first, blinding her and she covered her eyes. Then the light was placed onto the upper cockpit so she looked again. In front of her was the woman she had met just once, at the final briefing.

She looked mostly Latin and a little Asian, brown eyes and black eyebrows, narrowed with concentration, framed perfectly by her oval black mask. The pilot remembered her name as Ana-Lucia – or that’s what name she gave, at least. The diver smiled around her mouthpiece and gave an OK signal. The pilot gave a ‘not sure’ signal back and the diver nodded to her and then beckoned her to come out of the cockpit whilst pointing to her seat harness quick release buckle just above her crotch.

The pilot pushed her thumb on the release button but it did not move. She looked down, confused, and pushed it again. Stuck. She sucked hard into the rubber cone covering her face and pushed her thumbs into the button with all her might but it did not give. She grabbed her shoulder harness and tugged it hard as she pushed the button in, craning her head around with the effort, stretching the rubber hose from the cockpit to her mask.

She did not see the diver eyeing the hose or that her eyes narrowed at the sight of it.

Just then, another female diver appeared, clad in the same type of wetsuit and gear, and the two scuba divers communicated briefly, Anna-Lucia pointing a little frantically towards the back of the aircraft. The other diver had only briefly looked at the pilot struggling to release her harness then looked back to Ana. She nodded and disappeared towards the back of the aircraft.

Ana looked back to the pilot who had now raised her hands, and spoke into her mask, a muffled “Come on, what are fucking waiting for?! Help me!”

The pilot saw the diver remove their knife and hold it upwards. The pilot’s eyes widened but the diver pointed to her harness and she relaxed. The diver reached over the edge of the cockpit, her legs folded up behind her, body almost horizontal and brought her knife towards the pilot’s harness. The diver’s air hose was almost touching her face and it wobbled as Ana breathed through it, bubbles bursting in slow but regular patterns from the disc behind her head.

The pilot looked down and saw one of Ana’s hands on her harness and the other bringing the knife blade towards the thick fabric of the belt. The serrated edge of the knife started to saw against the fabric, cutting it very slowly.

The pilot relaxed and put her hands down to her sides to allow Ana to work on her belt. She relaxed a little and thought of being on the surface again.

Suddenly, without warning, she watched Ana’s hands let go of her harness and grab the corrugated air hose feeding her mask. Ana squeezed it flat in her fist and the pilot felt her breathing become more difficult immediately. The pilot watched as the attacking diver now stretched it so it became taut and then she brought the knife towards it. The pilot sensed the danger and lashed out with one hand, grabbing the divers arm and tried to force it away from her hose but the diver held it firmly. Ana’s eyebrows narrowed behind her mask as she deftly kept the knife blade clear of the pilot’s clawing hand then swiftly brought the knife edge to the rubber. The pilot screamed as she watched her air hose stretched with the pressure from the blade, the rubber resisting at first then giving in to the super sharp blade. Bubbles fizzed from the gash in the hose initially, then a plume of very large bubbles streamed from the completely severed end.

The pilots’ mask filled with water almost immediately and she grabbed at the Ana’s air source, trying to pull at her mouthpiece but she was too quick. She had already retreated back and was watching just out of the reach of the pilot’s flailing hands. Ana calmly replaced her knife, without even looking at it – her eyes on the pilot struggling in the beam of her flashlight. She was smiling and her expression had changed to something feline. Almost cruel. But contented.

Ana Lucia had felt the warmth come to between her legs as the knife had slit the pilot’s air hose in two. She’d especially enjoyed feeling the pilot claw at her air source as she was pulling herself back out of the cockpit and she half hoped that she had been more successful in grabbing it as she enjoyed a challenge.

She watched, wanting to touch herself, as the woman pilot – Gemma, she recalled her name to be – first grasped out to her, then looked down and started to foolishly try to push the two halves of her severed hose together again.

Ana thought Gemma looked quite hot even in her oversized flight suit. Her short black hair waved back and force in the beam of the light and the sight of the remaining half of the hose still attached to her mask was causing her nipples to harden against the tight neoprene that encased them. She shook her head at Gemma’s optimistic attempt to reconnect the hose but the pilot was entirely preoccupied, frantically trying to push the rubber tubes together.

She watched as Gemma then changed to banging her palm onto the quick release and grabbed at her harness straps, forcing her body upwards from her legs, but they did not budge. Ana Lucia counted the time passing by the hiss and bubbling from her own breathing, waiting for the pilot to weaken and drown but she was surprised how long she lasted, even in her panic.

Gemma’s body writhed and muffled shouts and grunts came from her flooded rubber mask as she grabbed at the harness straps again, pulling them in all directions. Ana continued to watch, calmly. The pilot grabbed the end of her hose and looked into it then dropped it and turned to Ana, her arms reaching out and eyes pleading.

Gemma wished that Claire would appear, her eye contact there to soothe her, just like before.

Ana breathed in and out quickly, now a little excited again, but did not move. She was thinking of the share of money she would take from the job and how she was going to treat her clit to some special treatment from her fingers when it was all over.

Gemma’s head flew back her seat and she convulsed several times before her arms fell to her sides, the breath she no longer held streaming from the end of the cut hose still attached to her mask.

Ana waited for a few seconds, until she was sure the pilot was no longer a threat.

“That’s Gemma’s cut dealt with,” she thought, then shook her head at herself.

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From an early age, her mother had always thought that there was something unusual about Ana Lucia – she was just not like the other children, especially the other girls. She liked to hang around with the older boys, especially if they were out on a panga, fishing or diving, and she was quite adept at looking after herself, especially if the other girls teased her about her being a tomboy. At the age of 10, a girl who had been trying to bully her had ended up with a fractured jaw and she was not teased any more.

Despite her mother’s reservations, her grandmother had always seen a real talent in Ana Lucia and nurtured it. She could see that she was a rare girl – one destined not just to end up with a baby, father disappeared, at the age of twenty like many of her peers. No, she had greater things destined for her, as her grandmother frequently reminded her, but she didn’t know it yet.

For Ana Lucia, as she blossomed into a young woman and became part of a group of locals involved in smuggling contraband, usually by sea, she often found herself in situations that she had to deal with on the spur of the moment and she did what was necessary, even if it involved taking life but she did not do it without reason.

One way she reconciled this was with her trademark gallows humour, something even the young men who saw the results of her actions sometimes found unpalatable.

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Now, Ana cleared her mask and looked back at Gemma, motionless, this time with a small amount of remorse. She finned upwards and over the edge of the fuselage and then down, between Gemma’s legs. It was a tight fit and her body felt jammed as she felt around for the item she was looking for. A thought passed through her mind – about Gemma coming to, and finding the diver who had cut her hose between her legs, vulnerable, and being able to grab at her own hoses. Just then her hand touched the box she had seen from above earlier and she pulled it towards her mask.

She eyed it. It was long and relatively small and she watched as the number sequences illuminated on its glowing red display.

She pushed back against the cockpit floor, forcing her body up out out of the cockpit, past the dead pilot. As she righted herself, she unzipped her wetsuit top and stuffed the box inside.

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Ana Lucia then picked up her flashlight and swung it down the fuselage and across the wing. She was a little surprised to see that one of the team was holding onto the aileron at the edge of the wing, watching her intently. As she shone the beam of the flashlight into the woman’s mask, the woman looked down quickly then pushed herself underneath the wing back to where she was supposed to be working. Ana Lucia grinned, then finned down the fuselage, then over the top of the plane to the opposite wing to where she could see bubbles rising. She grasped the edge of the wing and looked underneath, her body inverted, and she saw three divers there, working on the weapon fixed to one of the aircraft’s hard point.

She immediately recognized the weapon as the Paveway laser guided bomb but the warhead was more bulbous than normal and matched the photos she had been shown of it during the briefings exactly. One of the divers was carefully removing the warhead and the other two held a sling underneath.

They had been told it was an experimental version, containing a new type of explosive but Ana Lucia knew the real story and so would the women working on it, if they had a Geiger counter handy.

She finned towards the divers and joined them. They all turned to look at her as she tapped her watch and they all nodded, then the one removing the warhead resumed working, at seemingly increased pace.

Turning her body, she finned over towards the other wing, under the belly of the aircraft. Her air bubbles rose and hit the underside of the aircraft then ran almost horizontally along it, before escaping to the surface above. Three divers worked on this side, also, but they had finished their ask and the warhead was already in the sling. Ana Lucia joined them and gave all of them the OK signal. She lingered longest looking into the eyes of the woman who had been watching her from the edge of the wing. Ana Lucia recalled her name – Claire – probably the most experienced of the crew assembled for this task and the last one to be recruited. She was also the most attractive – long strawberry blonde hair under her hood, cool grey-blue eyes behind her jet black rubber mask and a sublime athletic body, the lines of which were enhanced by the enveloping full wetsuit cladding her perfectly. The diver only intermittently made eye contact, which Ana Lucia ignored skilfully.

Ana Lucia checked the compass on her wrist and stretched her flat hand out in the direction they needed to take the sling, then motioned to the three divers to move the item quickly. They all nodded in unison, pushing their bodies horizontal as two carried the sling between them. Claire finned slightly above and behind, like a world war 2 fighter plane escorting the bomber formation below and Ana Lucia quickly darted underneath the fuselage, watching them go. She was not surprised to see Claire’s finning gradually slow to nothing, allowing her to drop behind completely.

She watched as Claire swiveled her head around and pretended to fumble for something around her waist, an easy recognizable ruse to allow her to check whether see was being observed. Claire had obviously not seen Ana as she finned again, out of sight, but clearly towards the open cockpit.

Ana Lucia quickly checked under the other wing and the three divers had also gone, so both of the items she was sent with her team to retrieve were already on their way back to the rendezvous. Phase 2 was complete.

Now, she just needed to take care of her bonus and get to the rendezvous point herself. She reached down to her thigh and took her knife out of it’s sheath, then held her breath and slowly palmed her way up the side of the fuselage, towards where she assumed Claire would be, and took up a position where she could not easily be seen.

Claire had reached the cockpit and shone her flashlight inside. She had hoped that Ana Lucia had just left her Gemma to run her air down but her heart sank at the sight that greeted her. With rage rising inside her, she grabbed the severed hose attached to her partner’s mask and ran her thumb over it and let out an angry sigh, causing a lengthy plume of bubbles to erupt from the regulator behind her hooded head. ‘That fucking bitch,’ she thought, as she bit down hard onto her rubber mouthpiece and slight tears welled in her eyes. ‘Oh Gemma, that fucking bitch, Ana Lucia…I;m sorry, she said into her mouthpiece softly.

She reached forwards and pulled the goggles from Gemma’s face then closed her panic-filled eyes with her fingertips. Composing herself, she unzipped her wetsuit top and reached inside, grabbing a thin cylinder which she had secreted between her breasts. She held it in front of her – it was about 8 inches long and an inch and a half in diameter. She looked upwards and held the cylinder away from her body, then pulled a cord on the bottom. Bright light lit up her body, reflecting on the glass of her mask, before the source of the light rocketed up vertically leaving a trail of bubbles behind.

She watched as it reached the surface, then broke it, and then zoomed out of view, bringing semi-darkness to her world again. Then, there was a flash from above and a bright light again. Above her, above the surface of the sea, floated down a flare and the beacon which now transmitted their location.

Ana Lucia gasped into her mouthpiece at the sight of the beacon being launched and quickly slid into the shadows then watched as Claire lurched forward into the cockpit, her legs finning slightly to push her body down. Ana Lucia pulled herself up the fuselage quickly, to bring herself alongside the edge of the cockpit.

Ana Lucia’s mask was now right next to Claire’s gyrating crotch, her legs twisting above her and the rest of her body pointing vertically downwards between Gemma’s legs; her twin tanks clanged against the cockpit instrument panel and her air hoses wobbled within the confined space below. She was obviously searching for something but it couldn’t be the box she had wedged inside her own wetsuit top, surely? Bubbles burst from within the cockpit and she could hear Claire grunting as she appeared to be struggling to move a panel recessed into the aircraft cockpit floor.

Ana Lucia looked up at the flare, which still floated downwards and bathed her in light – she hadn’t got a lot of time before whoever Claire had alerted showed up – but decided quickly that she’d let her finish whatever she was trying to do before striking. After all, the aircraft could be booby trapped and she didn’t want to take any risks in that regard. Moments later, she moved back as Claire stared to extricate herself from the cockpit and Ana Lucia made sure that she stayed behind and below Claire as she brought herself vertical again.

Clare held the box in her hands and rotated it, smiling around her mouthpiece. Ana Lucia’s would look identical to this but it would be useless as it did not have the decryption device inside and when her paymasters found out, she would be fish food – literally. She tenderly put her hand on Gemma’s cheek before shoving the box into her own wetsuit which she had unzipped slightly.

Ana watched, amused by the similarity of their visits to the cockpit.

Claire looked around, tentatively, then recoiled back when she saw the diver behind her. A surprised “mmmnnn???” sound echoed in her air hoses as Ana Lucia held out her hand to accept the box from Claire whilst brandishing her knife in other hand, ready to strike if she did not comply.

Claire thought quickly, then nodded to Ana and started to reach into her wetsuit, the diver opposite her watching her very carefully. Claire looked down, into her unzipped suit where she could see her breasts squashed inside, the box between them, and she continued to fumble for the object then took a big intake of air and launched forward into Ana Lucia who was caught off guard, a little surprised by the immediate attack.

Both women tried to get the upper hand quickly, a mixture of grunts and ‘nnnnnnn’ noises emitted from each of them as they grappled, rolling over and over, legs entwining and hands frantically grabbing for wrists, air sources or masks.

Ana Lucia swept her knife around defensively as they struggled, nicking Claire’s thigh after slicing the neoprene open and exposing her upper leg, and causing a thin trail of blood to seep from inside. Claire yelped in response, not knowing if the cut was superficial, and grabbed Ana Lucia’s wrist, digging her thumb into it sharply. She heard Ana Lucia squeal into her mouthpiece so repeated the action, this time harder. Each time she dug her thumb in, she twisted the wrist but Ana wasn’t letting go of her knife easily. Claire’s muscles started to burn as the lactic acid built up inside them as she tried to overcome her enemy and she started to worry that she didn’t have the stamina to take on her opponent.

Ana Lucia was surprised. And, surprised at being surprised as she’d been in a lot of fights but she hadn’t encountered a woman as strong as Claire for a very long time. Her muscles were beginning to ache, (‘Were Claire’s, too?’ she thought) and her wrist was very sore and wouldn’t take much more being twisted or damaged. She tried to focus her mind away from it and onto where she needed to put her hand to grab Claire’s air hoses which seemed to continually evade her grasp. She’d felt something rubbery slip past her fingertips a few times but could never quite get a purchase on it and it did not help that she was a little disorientated from all the rolling and grappling.

For both divers, the intermittent light from the flare above was the main problem. Just as a shard of light refracted by the surface highlighted something to grab, it would be plunged into darkness again and, when their hand reached where they had seen the item of interest last, it wasn’t there any more.

Just like the aching in their muscles, frustration started to build, also.

Both women were also struggling with their air sources. The old gear that they had been provided with had been maintained to a military standard but it could not offset the fact that it simply did not deliver air like the regulators that they were used to. This fatigued the women further as they struggled to remain oxygenated.

As they rolled again, bubbles erupting from her regulator her head, Ana Lucia felt Claire’s palm bump against her mask, dislodging it slightly, but not enough that she could no longer see. As they rolled and grappled, the water in her mask sloshed around, into her eyes, and it was beginning to be a distraction.

Ana decided that she needed to do something underhand to recover the situation.

Claire dug her thumb into Ana Lucia’s wrist again and shook her arm, willing the knife out of it but it was held fast. Her other hand was in a constant battle to deflect Ana Lucia’s other hand from reaching her and so far she’d been successful so it was now down to stamina and who could retain their strength for the longest. She’d noticed that her opponent was more sluggish – perhaps she was weakening – although she was now tiring herself and getting a little dizzy from the exertion and a failure of her regulator to deliver all the air her body demanded. Wrapping her legs around those of Ana Lucia, to try to stop her stabbing at them again, she made one last push.

Ana Lucia felt her wrist twisted and her other arm grabbed, just around her forearm. Her body was pushed downwards as Claire rolled them both around so she was on top. Her legs felt pinned and she sucked hard on her mouthpiece as she knew she might not have it for much longer. Even at this time, she felt a tingling between her legs – an itch that needed scratching if she got out of this one alive. She looked into the mask of her opponent and the cool grey-blue eyes, full of concentration, fixed upon hers. She struggled but deliberately weakly, inviting Claire to release her grip and go for her mask or air source.

Claire thought that she had finally got the upper hand – she could see it in Ana Lucia’s eyes. She saw a hint of fear there – just as she’d seen it in the eyes of others that she’d eventually provided a watery grave for. She decided that it was time to finish this bitch off.

Digging into her final reserves of strength, she dug her thumb hard into Ana’s wrist and twisted it hard, causing Ana to yelp with pain. She then pulled her wrist backwards, forcefully. The knife came loose and she grabbed it. Ana Lucia flailed for a moment as the knife swung near to her mask, nicking her inlet hose and releasing a fizz then of bubbles. Claire raised the knife above her, ready to strike the final blow.

Ana’s plan was not quite running as smoothly as expected; she sucked on her mouthpiece and felt relieved that it was still giving air but she thought she could hear her hose hissing and guessed it was damaged. But, Claire now thought she had the upper hand in the fight, which had been Ana’s ruse as misplaced confidence can often bring downfall.

As she saw Claire raise the knife, she readied herself for the attack. Quickly, she grabbed Claire’s wrist, leaving her knife hand free to strike, then executed her move.

Claire, in her confidence, thought she had enough time to decide where to attack and largely disregarded Ana grabbing her wrist. But, Ana then folded Claire’s wrist back with such force that she thought it was going to break. Claire squealed with agony and released the grip of her legs around Ana. Quickly, Ana pulled Claire’s knife arm towards her with both hands, keeping the blade clear of her and swung her body around so that Claire’s back was now to her. Then, she grabbed her tanks between her knees and wrapped her legs around her body so her feet crossed over her crotch.

Acute pain flowed from Claire’s wrist. She never imagined that Ana would have the strength to hurt it like that – she had been weakening for some time. Confusion filled her mind and now she realized that Ana had moved behind her. She looked down and saw Ana’s wetsuit-covered legs crossing her crotch and she started to writhe, hoping to dislodge the diver behind her.

Claire swung the knife downwards, towards the thighs that gripped her but Ana pulled her arm as she swung it, causing her to miss Ana’s leg and stab her own. The tip of the knife pierced the wetsuit and cut into her flesh, causing her to shout into her mouthpiece and twist her head wildly with the pain. Quickly, Ana pulled Claire’s arm upwards, and the knife dragged up her thigh, slicing her wetsuit open up to her pelvis but only superficially cutting into her skin.

Ana Lucia sucked on her mouthpiece and got the start of a mouthful of water so stopped breathing in and attempted to hold her breath. She couldn’t possibly see that the nick in the air hose that ran at the side of her head had expanded to a tear, rendering it largely useless as water had partially filled the rubber tubing. She had dealt with situations like this before and attempted to stay calm despite desperately wanting to take air.

She had to act fast now as Claire was still breathing, exhibited by the short hisses of air followed by bubbles exhausting from the regulator on top of Claire’s scuba tanks right in front of Ana’s face. Ana brought her other forearm across Claire’s throat and squeezed hard, then felt as both hands reached up and grabbed at it to release her grip.

Feeling both Claire’s hands on her arm, she knew that she must have dropped the knife so she used her other hand to pull her arm that crossed Claire’s throat even tighter, into a ‘blood choke’; this stopped blood flowing to and from her brain, despite her being able to breathe.

Claire had obviously now realized the significance of the grip on her neck as Ana felt the woman in front of her now frantically kick her legs out and downwards, like a frog, and try to twist her body and neck so that the hold could be compromised but Ana wasn’t as weak as she had feigned to Claire and maintained her arm in just the right place for maximum effect.

It wasn’t long before Claire started to weaken from hypoxia in her brain which was just as well for Ana as her own lungs were burning with air hunger.

She wanted to wait for Claire to weaken further than she already had, or pass out completely, but Ana knew that she had to breathe soon. All the exertion meant her body was hungry for oxygen and she knew she had just seconds before she would be in trouble.

Rolling her eyes with the urge to breathe, Ana Lucia quickly released her hand which held her forearm tight across the woman’s throat and reached around to Claire’s face and grasped her air hose firmly, right next to her mouthpiece. She tugged hard but it didn’t come free and she felt her own stomach convulse with desperation. Claire’s senses were dulled but she managed a weak “Noooooooo” in her mouthpiece as she started to come around, some blood now making it past Ana’s choke hold.

Ana Lucia pulled the hose again, this time as hard as she could, and felt the rubber mouthpiece tear free of her opponent’s lips and begin bubbling. She skilfully brought it to her own face, spat out her own useless mouthpiece and cleared the twin hose before clamping her teeth down on it and inhaling.

Nothing, to Ana, felt sweeter than breathing from your struggling opponent’s own air source especially when it was the only one left.

Claire blinked behind her mask – not quite believing her situation but knowing it was dire. She had expected the weakened Ana Lucia to bolt for the surface when her air hose was cut but, instead, she’d attacked with unexpected strength and ferocity and caught her completely off guard. She’d panicked when her opponent had got her in the choke hold, knowing that she would pass out quickly, but nowhere near as much as when she felt Ana’s hand gripping her hose just next to her mouthpiece moments later.

She had inhaled deeply and tried hard to clamp her teeth down on the mouthpiece but she was disorientated by the dim light and dizzy from Ana’s hold on her throat and had felt her air source torn from her lips. She released a long stream of bubbles from her mouth as she squealed for help, her arms reaching over her own shoulders trying to grab her air source back but she knew it would not be given up easily and she had pretty much lost the fight. And probably her life.

Weakening further, she twisted her body but she could not shake Ana Lucia who had clamped herself, like a limpet, to her tanks. Instinctively, her palm closed over her weight belt buckle and she released it, then kicked her burning legs weakly to try to reach the surface above.

Ana Lucia reached around to Claire’s face and pulled her mask away to break the seal then upwards, allowing the strap around her hooded head to slide off the neoprene it had been gripping. She released it behind her then looked up and mentally calculated the chance that Claire would reach the surface given the exertions from their fight, her injuries and when she last was able to breathe.

‘I wouldn’t put any money on you managing it, Claire’ she thought to herself.

Underwater fighting was often a waiting game, so she breathed from Claire’s air source and let time deal with her opponent.

Claire reached her arms out towards the surface. The urge to breathe was too great and air spilled from her lips. She brought her hand to her mouth, covering it, knowing that the dead weight on her back was going to stop her reaching the sweet air above the surface. As she got closer, she felt faint and thought of all the good times that she had shared with Gemma. In bed, out of bed and underwater. Gemma knew what buttons to push – she always had – and they had shared experiences together that made her wet just by thinking about them.

Now she was about to join her, all thanks to the same ‘fucking bitch.’

She blinked into the salt water as she urge to breathe overcame her and her hands clawed feebly in front of her as water filled her body.

Ana Lucia felt Claire stop kicking and then the release of air followed by some convulsions. She had no time to lose so flipped herself forward to face Claire, whose eyes and mouth were wide open, a few bubbles streaming from her lips, still. A little life in the eyes, but fading quickly, she thought. Quickly, she released her own scuba harness and ditched her tanks, then removed Claire’s harness from her body and slid her arms into it, jiggling it onto her back, before closing the waist clasp firmly. She grabbed Claire’s upper arm and pulled her close, reaching inside her wetsuit and retrieving the box that she had forced into there. She felt a tingle in her nipples and crotch as she removed her mouthpiece and kissed the lifeless diver on the lips, deeply, before replacing the rubber molding back between her lips.

She pushed Claire’s lifeless body away into the darkness then checked her compass then watch. ‘Fuck!’, she thought, as she saw the time and immediately finned hard towards the rendezvous point, hoping that the others hadn’t given up on her and left already. As she kicked her legs, she checked her air gauge. What she saw was not good, but it was better than she expected, and again, she tried to mentally calculate her chances of getting to the extraction point before she was sucking on an empty tank.

The light filtering down from above had now stopped and it was hard to see her compass so she relied entirely on its luminosity. As she squinted at the pointer, she heard a whoosh above her as though some kind of low flying jet had passed overhead. She rolled onto her back to watch the surface, whilst also increasing her rate of finning and depth.

Despite looking for something unusual, she could not possibly have seen the six divers entering the water, three pairs of two, from the turbine powered boat which had slowed only momentarily to allow them to roll off the back and commence their mission. She would also not have been able to see that each diver carried a long speargun.

Ana Lucia rolled onto her front again and checked her air again. Almost empty now, probably from her increased depth and exertion. The muscles in her legs were just about to give up but she pushed on, knowing that if she stopped, whoever Claire had summoned would be ready to deal with her.

She checked her compass again and strained to see any point of reference. She was sure she was at the rendezvous point now but where was it? There should be the faint light of the airlock status to see. She swung completely around quickly then calmed down and scanned more slowly.

There it was! The glow of a green light! As she kicked hard towards it, she was startled as the night around her turned to day. Above her, a large number of flares which had detonated almost simultaneously, parachuted down and collectively bathed her in light.

‘Military,’ she thought, and increased her finning rate as fear crept into her.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Of the six divers that had entered the water, two broke off to investigate the aircraft which they could now clearly see below them.

The pair’s orders were to ascertain whether the payload had been taken and, if so, ensure that the arming box had been recovered by their people on the inside of the mission. Having no arming box rendered the nuclear warheads useless but loss of it could result in a critical mission failure unless the decoy box, which contained a homing beacon, allowed the agency they worked for to determine who had stolen it and prevent the weapons being made live.

As they descended quickly, they reached Claire’s body and raised their spearguns in case of a threat. When none came, one of the divers gave it only a cursory glance while the other’s gaze lingered longer – they’d never seen a dead body underwater before – and they thought it strange that the body only had a wetsuit and fins on. They both passed by, spearguns now lowered, and Claire floated slowly towards the surface she had so desperately wanted to reach, purely thanks to the buoyancy of her wetsuit.

The other four divers headed off in the direction that the magnetometer had recorded the anomaly then they reverted to the device that tracked the homing beacon in the decoy box. They could see the aircraft and, judging by the lack of divers around it, they needed to be quick.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ana was aided by the light around her as she could now see the submersible quite clearly as it sat on the rocky bottom. Before she reached it, she turned to fin towards the airlock but, as she neared, she noticed that her mouthpiece was failing to give air at the rate her body demanded it. She sucked hard but her lungs only managed to collapse the rubber air hose at the side of her head.

She was so very tired and really needed the air.

As the air supply dwindled to nothing, she was back to holding her breath again.

She grabbed her own air hose with one hand, thought of it belonging to Claire, and yanked the mouthpiece from her lips, allowing it to float freely above her head. Her cheeks were puffed out and her lips pursed and she really didn’t want to be in the water for much longer as she expected deadly company to be arriving.

As she finned to the airlock hatch, she stopped and reached inside her wetsuit, scanning around as she did so, now absolutely certain that hostiles would be in the water somewhere near.

A small trail of bubbles burst from her lips as she then swam to the steel ‘wheel’ that passed through the airlock hatch door. She knelt on the hull, her fins raised behind her, and strained her body to rotate the wheel, her lips bubbling as she groaned with exertion.

‘Who the fuck has closed this?’ she thought and gave it another turn. This time, it gave, and she started to spin the wheel in her hands.

Just as it end stopped, she saw a glint of something as it passed inches in front of her mask. She swung her head around to see the silhouettes of four divers approaching fast, in two pairs of two.

‘Military formation? Fuck!’

She lifted the hatch quickly, just as another spear flew past dinking her spent air tank, and lurched head first into the tight hatch, waggling her fins as she legs passed through the opening to push herself inside.

A sudden pain shot through her foot and she squealed with agony, her mouth opening and releasing a plume of bubbles. She turned her body as it was inverted and looked upwards towards her feet and saw that a spear had penetrated her fin, just about where her toes would be. She waggled her toes and felt acute pain which caused her to vent more air from her mouth.

Blood had started to seep from around where the spear had entered but she could not see that it had hit her toe, severing it from her foot.

Her lungs burnt and foot blazed with pain.

Cringing with pain, she dragged her legs inside, along with the spear, and pulled the hatch down hard, then turned the wheel and, just as lights as bright as stars started to appear in her vision, she locked it then turned her body around and weakly turned the valve that forced the water out of the airlock.

A giant hiss of air filled her ears and she put her hand over her lips then forced her head towards the airlock door, the highest point in the chamber, and waited for the water level to drop. While she was there, she moved a lever to lock the outer door shut, just in case anyone decided that they’d like to join her.

Just as her vision was tunneling, she felt her face clear of the water and she took a giant intake of air.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

She gorged on air for a few moments before turning to deal with the spear. Grabbing her knife from her upper arm, she sawed at the spear until the barbed end was cut free, then she yanked the remainder of it out of her fin. She removed her fin and inspected the damage to her foot.

The pain was excruciating and it looked as bad as it felt but at least she was alive.

‘I guess that’s one mission “toe” remember,’ she thought to herself but failed to smile and, instead, crumpled into a tired heap at the second door of the airlock chamber.

As she lay on the cold metal, she banged her fist against the door and shouted.

‘It’s Ana. Open the fucking door! We’ve got company!’

Almost immediately, the wheel on the airlock door started to turn. Ana grabbed a hand rail in the chamber and hopped to her feet. As the door opened, residual water in the chamber gushed out and Ana Lucia bundled herself out with it, to the surprised looks of the group of females on the other side, all in their wetsuits still but now without their hoods.

‘We..we…thought you were one of them’, said one feebly.

‘It‘s a good job I‘m not. Let’s get the fuck out of here’, Ana Lucia stated quickly while dropping her dead scuba tank onto the floor. She then limped past the women to the submersible’s controls.

Upon reaching the cockpit of the submersible, Ana Lucia reached to a circuit breaker and yanked it into the on position. Through a view port, she could see one of the enemy divers outside holding what appeared to be some kind of limpet device and they were just about to attach it to the hull. Without thinking, she shoved her thumb into a recessed button on the control panel and a thrumming noise filled the entire vessel. Looking outside, the enemy diver had already started to convulse, their body moving spasmodically, and they immediately lost the single hose regulator from their mouth. Ana Lucia, trimmed the submersible so it lifted off the bottom then pushed the speed control for the propulsion to area marked ‘ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES.’

The screw at the rear of the submersible immediately started to spin up and start to provide forward thrust.

Outside, the four divers surrounding the submersible were incapacitated. One was already unconscious, her regulator spilled and free flowing furiously. Another, a male whose muscles clearly could be seen despite his wetsuit, feebly continued to convulse as his body stopped functioning electrically.

The remaining two divers, women recruits almost straight out of the agency training programme, stared out of their masks. Unblinking. Paralyzed. The regulator broke free of of the women’s lips and floated away as they remained completely motionless.

As the screw from the submersible had now reached it’s maximum RPM, the force of the water through it caused the dead and dying divers behind it to be thrown around, like skittles.

Ana Lucia pulled off her wetsuit hood and her long brown hair spilled over her shoulders, still damp. She turned around and saw the team sitting on short benches either side of the section behind her. They were looking at each other anxiously and some were grabbing the hand rails above their heads.

Two then started to compare notes, talking quietly, but the remainder stared into space, gathering their thoughts.

There was a single space on the bench that was empty. Claire’s space. There had never been a space for Gemma.

Ana Lucia leaned back and closed the bulkhead door behind her, separating herself from the rest of the group. She reached inside her wetsuit and pulled out the box that Claire had retrieved and eyed it. The other box, she had placed in some netting attached to the hull of the submersible, just in case, as, at the time, she thought it would be useless – just a decoy.

But why? There being two boxes had caused the cogs in her brain to turn.

She ignored her curiosity, momentarily, as her lips turned into a smug grin at the thought of coming out on top in obtaining both boxes and the payload.

Her employers should be more than pleased.

She turned her thoughts to Gemma struggling in her seat harness, the woman’s air hose sliced by her own hand, and the fight she’d had with her tricky girlfriend, Claire.

A tingling sensation came from between her legs and in her breasts again.

She reached inside her wetsuit and squeezed her nipple and rubbed her thighs together as her memory replayed the scenes she’d just been involved in.

She’d managed to get away with it.

Again.

And all the mission targets had been more than achieved. Quite apart from dispatching Claire and Gemma which gave her their shares, she thought she would get a special bonus and that maybe she could retire.

But, that wouldn’t be any fun for a girl like her – one with a real sense of adventure.

Maybe she could open a dive school? Yes, there’s an idea, she thought to herself then smiled at the irony of it. Blinking out of the thought, she checked the echo sounder, dipping the nose of the submersible to match the drop off of the sea bed. She then pushed one of the joysticks on the control panel to the right as she turned to a new vector to the second rendezvous.

She sighed and looked above her, to thank her dear grandmother for watching over her again.

written by guest author Pinglis

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Ana Lucia : Critical Mass, 2.8 out of 5 based on 4 ratings
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