Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the Dirk Pitt characters created by Clive Cussler. The characters do not belong to me. I make no profit from this story.
Smiling Summer listened to her brother over the radio. He was testing the new one-man-submarine Al Giordino had invented and it was evident that he was enjoying every second of it.
"Whoohoo, this is great!" Dirk Pitt jr. laughed in his radio. He had just dived into a deep canyon and the submarine didn't seem to have any problems with the pressure compensation. He had never dived so deep on his own. It was amazing to be in such depths all alone and he could have stayed down here forever. But he knew that he would have to resurface as he would run out of oxygen soon.
"You only have 10 minutes oxygen left, Dirk. It's time to get back." Summer reminded him. She envied her twin brother for this chance. They had both argued who would get the first ride in this submarine and in the end Dirk had won.
"I'm coming back up." Dirk told her and on the radar in front of her she could see the submarine going higher up until it reached the surface. She went outside the cabin to greet her brother and help him back onto the ship. Al Giordino, her father's best friend and like an uncle for herself and her brother, already waited to hear directly from Dirk what he thought about his latest invention.
"Al, this is awesome. You excelled yourself. If possible, I would go down there right again." Dirk said excitedly.
"Next one to test this thing is me." Summer laughed as she stepped closer. She held her hand out for Dirk to help him come onboard.
"Right. You're gonna love it, Summer, believe me. We can go so much deeper in this and we'll be able to get into almost any cave because of the small size and ..."
"You don't have to sell it to me, Dirk, I already believe this submarine is worth every cent NUMA spend for it." Summer interrupted her brother laughing. She loved how excited he could get about these things.
As soon as the submarine was back on board the Sea Spirit, one of NUMA's exploring ships, Giordino began to check it thoroughly while Summer and Dirk went down in the cabin. Dirk wanted to change out of his diving suit and Summer was going to prepare him something to eat. They were both always hungry after a dive and the other always took care that there was something to eat ready afterwards when they didn't dive together.
"Smells great." Dirk said smiling as he stepped out of the small bedroom. He was now wearing a white shirt and blue shorts instead of his diving suit. "Did Al say when we can get down with it again?"
"He said that I could go down with it in a few hours. Why don't you join me in your diving suit? We could compare who's collecting more data." Dirk and Summer loved to play those little competition games. They didn't care that this wasn't really a competition as it was out of question who would collect more data this time – the submarine could dive much deeper than a diver in a normal diving suit could go. But in the end it never really mattered who won, they just loved the banter while doing it.
"Good idea." Dirk replied smiling. Then he took a seat at the small table in the corner and began eating. "Smells great, tastes even better. Good luck you just had to put this in the microwave."
"Ha ha." Unfortunately Summer had to admit that Dirk really was the better cook of them. She couldn't even make a toast without burning it. Dirk had taught himself to cook at a very young age. Often their mother was being depressed and wouldn't leave her bedroom for days. The young siblings had to take care of themselves at those times. While Summer took care of keeping the house clean, Dirk had took control over the kitchen and cooked the meals. They weren't really very tasteful in the beginning, but he got better over the years. Now he could make a 4 star menu without much effort. Summer loved to invite herself into Dirk's apartment simply to enjoy his cooking.
While his children and his best friend enjoyed themselves on the Sea Spirit in the Caribbean Sea, Dirk Pitt sen. waited impatiently in the states attorney office in Washington, D.C.. He was supposed to get over his testimony against Thomas Hatch, a rich business man, who had tried to make more profit by getting rid of his toxic waste by throwing it into the next river. That river had brought the toxic waste out into the open sear, where it had almost destroyed a beautiful nature reserve. Pitt would testify against Hatch next week and the states attorney wanted to make sure that his testimony would put Hatch and his men behind bars for a very long time.
"Good Morning, Mr. Pitt. I'm sorry you had to wait. I was hold up." States Attorney Gordon Mitchell said when he stepped into his office.
"No problem. But I hope we can get this over with fast. I'd like to get back to work as quickly as possible." Pitt wanted to see and test Al's new invention as much as his children and was anxious to get back to the Sea Spirit.
"I won't keep you long. So you won't stay in Washington until the court?" Mitchell asked.
"No, I'll leave right after this meeting. But don't worry. I'll be back in time for the court. There's no need to stay in town for all this time, is there?"
"No, not at all. In fact, I think it's a good idea to leave town. Some of our witnesses have received threats not to testify next week. I already lost two witnesses." Mitchell told him quietly.
"I received such a threat via email myself. But don't worry, threats like that don't scare me. There is nothing Hatch can do to stop me." Pitt replied determinedly.
"I'm glad to hear that." Mitchell said smiling. "Okay, let's go over your testimony."
"This is so great." Dirk could hear his sister over the radio. As they had agreed to earlier, she had taken the submarine while he accompanied her in his normal diving suit. He could see the sub a few meters away. He actually had to force himself to concentrate on collecting any data, as watching the sub was almost as much fun as using it.
He had been under water for about 15 minutes, when his vision started to blur slightly. He shook his head to clear his mind, but it only got worse. He suddenly felt light-headed and had trouble breathing. "Summer." He tried to call for his sister, but it only came out barely above a whisper.
"Dirk, you should see this. We would never have been able to collect so much data so fast without this sub." Summer called excitedly over the radio. She hadn't heard her brother.
Desperately Dirk tried to swim to the surface, but his world begun to spin around him and he didn't know anymore which direction he had to take. "Summer, help me." He managed to press out before his world turned black.
"Dirk, what did you say? I didn't understand you." Summer had finally heard her brother, but he had been too quiet for her to understand. "Dirk?"
When she didn't get a respond from him, she got worried immediately. She looked around the water for her brother. When she couldn't see him anywhere, she turned the sub around and finally saw his figure a few meters away. He wasn't moving. "Dirk?" She called again, fear creeping in her voice. "This is not funny, answer me!"
As fast as she could she moved closer to his position until she could clearly see that he must have lost conscious. "Damn! Sea Spirit, this is Sub 1. Dirk is heaving trouble. I'm leaving the sub and getting him back up."
Without waiting for a response, she grabbed the small oxygen cylinder under her seat and slid through the emergency exit. She had powered down all systems and hoped the submarine wouldn't take any damage, as it was uncontrolled under water, but she didn't waste much thought to that as her brother was all she worried about right now.
She was at his side quickly and grabbed him under his arms to pull him to the surface. It seemed like an eternity until they were finally above water. "Help me!" She called.
Al had already been waiting anxiously for any sign of the twins to resurface. "What happened?" He asked as he helped Summer to get Dirk back on board.
"I don't know. He suddenly wasn't responding anymore and I found him unconscious. I don't know what happened." Summer could feel the tears well up in her eyes as she watched Al removing her brother's diving mask and searching for a pulse.
"Damn!" Al yelled frustrated. "Where's the med team? And call a helicopter! We need to get him into hospital." He had neither found a pulse nor was Dirk breathing anymore. He quickly began with CPR.
Terrified Summer watched how Al tried to resuscitate her brother. She had never felt more helpless in her live. Finally she saw Dirk coughing and he took some breaths of his own. As his breathing was still irregular though, the medics, who had finally arrived, decided it was best to put him on a respirator. This way they could control his breathing and make sure he'd get enough oxygen.
"Where is that damn helicopter?" Al yelled frustrated. He would never admit it to anyone, but seeing Dirk's almost lifeless and pale body lying on the ground scared the death out of him. As there wasn't anything he could do for him anymore, he put his arm around Summer's shoulder and tried to give her some comfort.
A.N.: This is my first Dirk Pitt fanfic. I have only read one book of him so far. I hope I stayed in character with all the persons. I also don't know much about diving or medicine and english isn't my first language, so I apologize for all the mistakes I surely made in this chapter and will still make in the next ones. I hope you enjoyed this chapter nevertheless. If so, let me know. :-) Constructive criticism is also always welcome.