I followed the shifting form down a hallway and through a few doorways. The air became dense and wet. They had me remove my clothes and put on a form-fitting rubber suit.
Lastly, they removed the toothpick out of my mouth and gave me a pair of black goggles with lenses coloured a yellowish-green.
“When you get into the pond,” they said, “Walk in deep enough so that your head is under the water. Then you can hear each other perfectly.”
The goggles didn’t fit and had to be adjusted several times but soon I had a good seal. My eyes bulged a little with the suction.
The last set of doors gave way to a massive chamber, something hidden. It held not only a pond but a small forest filled with foliage of all shapes and sizes. A few red birds flew by, and small yellow lizards scurried about. From the door, a curved stone path led into the dark forest.
After fifty paces the trees disappeared giving way to a high-domed room and in the middle was the pond. It was a deep shade of green. The path straightened and led me into the pond and then a set of large steps lowered me further into the deep green water. I was soon up to my eyeballs. At first, the chill of the water was too much but then the rubber suit sprang to life, engulfing me in a warmish glow. The goggles allowed me to see under the water and above the water at the same time.
I stood motionless.
Listening. And waiting.
The Rat Plague