It was Friday when Percival met with Charles again, along with the Nautilus at Tuckerby Bay. They wanted to test Charles' theory of whether the suit was submersible, and if the person inside the suit would be able to breathe without water entering inside. It was in the afternoon, and the weather was somewhat cool but humid. A light breeze was blowing into the bay, and the waves of the sea were calm.
''We should do this now before the weather turns worse,'' Percival commented, as he took his riding boots and coat off to enter into the suit.
''Yes. Remember, if you encounter any problems, swim back up to the surface immediately, Percival. If you are unable to, I will tie this rope around you so that I will hoist you up if I sense you are in trouble,'' Charles instructed. Percival nodded before his face disappeared behind the black visor. Charles wrapped the rope around the waist of the suit and made a tight knot. Percival then walked towards the sea, but stopped briefly to prepare himself.
'Please keep me safe, God,' Percival prayed before he entered the water. Charles observed him cautiously, letting the rope go as Percival went further down into the water. He then dove into the sea, and Charles lost sight of Percival once he was submerged.
'I wonder how far down I can go,' Percival deliberated inwardly, while he swam further down.
''Oxygen levels at one hundred percent. Time until loss of oxygen estimated at one hundred and forty seven minutes. Depth pressure is at a safe level,'' the female voice reported to Percival.
'Well...I think that is all right. I shan't be staying down here for an awfully long time,' Percival mused. As he got deeper, he marvelled at the all the types of marine life he was encountering. He saw a school of fish spiralling around him. He chuckled lightly to himself as he began to stroke the bodies of some of the fish, with the visor informing him of what type of fish it was. He stopped swimming for a while, staying absolutely motionless before one fish approached his visor and looked as if it kissed it.
''Visor transparency online,'' the suit spoke, and Percival noticed the be-darkened visor produce lights inside the helmet.
''Charles would do anything to see this,'' he said as he laughed. Charles, who was still above ground, was worrying about Percival, as he was no longer tugging at the rope.
'I hope he hasn't got into any difficulty. But I think it too early to pull him up now,' Charles wondered apprehensively, his gaze not shifting from the water. The fish surrounding Percival began to swim away, and he decided to go further down.
''Depth pressure at a cautionary level. Return to a safe level as soon as possible. Oxygen levels at ninety two percent,'' the suit reported to Percival. Percival took a note of this, but something caught the corner of his eye while he surveyed his surroundings. To his left, in between some rocks, Percival noticed a large object in white.
'What is that?' he wondered, swimming closer to the mysterious object. Charles felt the rope slip further out of his hand. Percival reached his hand to grab the object, and noticed it was slightly soft.
''Aaaagh!'' Percival screamed when he revealed the identity of the object. It was a dead body.
''Oh my...'' he gasped. It was a man with brown hair, who was wearing a white suit. Charles felt the rope tug slightly, then stop suddenly.
'Oh, I hope he isn't drowning!' Charles worried as he walked towards the water. Percival examined the dead man, and saw something that made his eyes widen.
''...Nautilus...'' he whispered when he saw the same word that was on his suit written on the chest of the man.
'He was...the man in the suit,' Percival deduced. The man's legs were wedged in between the rocks, holding him in place. When Percival came slightly closer to the body, he noticed a school of fish disappear suddenly from the right corner of his eye. Percival peered closer down into the water, scrutinizing the darkness.
''Oxygen levels at eighty six percent,'' the suit reminded Percival. He seemed to ignore the suit's warnings as he swam deeper to investigate. Charles felt the rope slip further out of his hands, while he was still observing the water.
''Depth pressure at severe level. Return to a safe level as soon as possible. Oxygen levels at seventy nine percent,'' the suit reported. Percival ignored it once more, swimming farther down into the sea. Percival observed the darkness of the depths for a while before he saw a lone, large fish swim around.
''Oxygen levels at seventy percent,'' the suit reported. Percival's eyes were plastered on the fish.
'Please be all right, Percival,' Charles thought. Percival's attention was entirely focused on the fish.
''Oxygen levels at sixty six percent,'' the suit informed Percival. Percival swam deeper, observing the wandering fish. The fish then swam down, and Percival was in shock when he witnessed that the fish suddenly disappeared out of sight.
''Where did it go?'' Percival wondered aloud. He searched around the area for the fish, but he could see nothing.
''Oxygen levels at sixty percent. Return to a safe level as soon as possible. Depth pressure at a dangerous level,'' the suit reminded Percival. Percival swam a bit further, and waited to see where the fish had gone. Charles' grip on the rope became tighter as he felt it slip slightly.
'He's gone quite far, and for a long time too,' Charles commented internally.
''Oxygen levels at fifty three percent. Return to the surface as soon as possible. Depth pressure at critical level,'' the suit reported more urgently. Percival waited for a while further to see if the fish came back.
''Nautilus in danger of damage. Emergency resurfacing initiated,'' the suit reported.
''Argh!'' Percival let out as the suit suddenly launched him upwards. Charles felt the rope tug for a while, then suddenly become limp in his hand.
''Oh no! Percival!'' he shouted while he grabbed hold of the rope and pulled on it. Percival was unable to gain control of the suit, which was gaining speed and hurtling towards the surface. Charles became desperate as he pulled more of the rope but saw no sign of Percival. He ran into water and was about to dive in when the suit burst through onto the surface of the water.
''Percival! You're all right!'' Charles gasped as he helped Percival out of the water.
''Yes...I'm all right, Charles,'' Percival responded, staggering onto the sand in the suit.
''Oxygen levels at one hundred percent. Resurface successful. Visor transparency offline,'' the suit spoke before Percival came out of it. He stumbled on to the sand, catching his breath as Charles tended to him.
''What did you find down there?'' Charles inquired. Percival looked up at him, then towards the sea.
''I believe I found the previous owner of the suit,'' Percival answered. Charles stood up slowly, stunned by his reply.
''...You have?'' he asked.
''Yes...and I think...I may have stumbled upon another discovery,'' Percival spoke in a low tone. Charles' eyes widened slowly at Percival's admission.
''There's...something else?'' he questioned aloud, glaring out towards the waves of the sea.
* * *
'…Percival...and Charles Beller...' Garth struggled to process what he was seeing, hidden in the woods around Tuckerby Bay. He had been spying on the two for a while now, as he could not find Percival at his home.
''What are they doing with...the suit?'' he ruminated aloud to himself in shock. Garth had witnessed Percival inside the Nautilus suit that he had seen at the Great Exhibition the day before.
'What...does this all mean?' he said in deep thought.