In my novel Pyramid, Jack and Costas revisit the wreck of the Beatrice - discovered in my previous novel, Pharaoh - in order to examine the ancient Egyptian sarcophagus of Menkaure for further clues to Akhenaten's lost 'City of Light'. To find out more about the real-life wreck and the sarcophagus, click here. After a horrifying accident with Costas' submersible, Jack has to make a snap decision:
And then it happened. The derrick screeched and the cable began to feed out again. Jack ripped off the headphones and glanced back to the derrick operator, seeing where the others had leapt forward to help him try to hold the brake, their tools cast aside. The cable was falling fast, dropping the submersible far beyond air-diving depth now. Jack turned, feeling as if he were in slow motion, his vision tunnelled, his metabolism slowed as if he were already in dive-response, his system anticipating what his brain was telling it and doing all it could to maximise his chances of survival. He blew on his nose to clear his ears, keeping his nose pinched, and with his other hand scooped up the weight-belt of one of the divers, holding it tight and bounding to the edge of the deck beside the cable. He was barely conscious of those around him, of Macalister’s shocked face, of the two divers too stunned to move, of voices behind yelling at him not to do it.
He stared into the abyss. All that he thought of was the darkness, and Costas.
He breathed fast, gulping in the air, took a final deep lungful, and jumped.
From Pyramid by David Gibbins (Headline, 2015)
Copyright 2015 David Gibbins