They crawled up and over his body in a frenzy. Bumping, joining, spitting and seething over his skin in an endless race. A constant noisy hiss in his ears distracting from the dull ache of the mask clamped over his face. Bubbles leaked from that as well, adding to the storm around him. They bat against him softly like a swarm of silver bees swirling around his jaw, sliding over his closed eyelids.

Breathe in. Bubbles out.

He shifts uncomfortably, floating … floating doesn't feel right.

A shadow to his right and he forces sluggish eyes to roll, follows the wavering image.

A human. The man walks past somewhere beneath him. There's a clipboard and pages are being flipped.

He lifts a hand … even in the water it's a drunken movement, the coordination is gone. The water feels thick as mud to his dull senses. Glass thumps, smooth and cold against searching fingers and for a moment the bubbles surge in agitation.


The man isn't looking at him, he's looking at something nearby … something tall and opaque with a dark shadow floating inside. Bubbles wreathe the dark form, concealing most of the details.

Realisation is a slow poison boiling through his veins.

My brother.

Which one? It might be Raph but he can't be sure - the distance is too great, tinted water muting skin tones. Mask strapped over the beak, hoses and cables weaving up to the ceiling of his glass tube like something out of Necronomicon.

Breathe in. Bubbles out. Regular and slow.

His fingers climb in slow motion to the contraption gripping his face. His jaws feel bruised, his mouth dry. It won't come off and he can't remember ...

There's only the storm of bubbles, carrying his rising scream to the surface in shattered silver fragments.