“How long is this supposed to take?” the smaller one asked the bigger one.
“As long as it takes,” the one with a single eye answered.
There were only the three of them, which was four short of a full squadron. One after the other, they were climbing down.
Upon entering the program, there was a set of clear terms. Being a Water Rat was a job for someone who had nothing left to lose. New members surrendered their name and opened themselves up to the service. Meaning, simply, you went where you had to go and did whatever the com-links told you.
The world was nothing but oceans. What little land remained was overpopulated and deadly, nearly impossible to survive. There were diseases, cannibals, and endless politicians. The Water Rats moved through the pipes in the deep ugly darkness, the places no one in their right mind wanted to go. Sometimes they even got to skitter across the world’s surface on the water jets. That little thrill did not come often.
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