The next few instants were a confusing blur of images that seemed to last a lifetime, but must have only been seconds. With the supports at one side of the bridge gone, the entire structure would evidently swing flat against Ben's side of the gorge, smacking into the brutal rocks. With Skye near to the end of the bridge, he would at least be relatively close to the ground when it stopped moving (assuming he managed ot stay on it); Ben, in the middle, would be much higher up. With these thoughts in mind, Ben decided his best course of action was to try and land in the water.
With the bridge already skewed, thanks to one side's ropes breaking first, rolling off the side was a simple matter of letting go. Snatching a glance down below, Ben judged that he was hopefully over the shining ribbon on the valley floor, and closed his eyes before releasing his grip.
Wind whistled past for a few moments, then a sudden shock of cold told Ben he'd at least managed to land where he planned. At that height, hitting the water was almost like hitting solid ground, and the air was driven out of Ben's lungs by the impact. Flailing wildly he tried to make for the bright surface, and finally broke through for a quick gasp of air.
The torrent of water seemed, if anything, even fiercer than before, and Ben was driven along like a leaf in a storm. Lashing out frantically he managed to resurface each time he went under, but he was losing energy fast and his earlier wounds weren't helping. At least the water was relatively warm, testament to their actual tropical location.
Now, though, Ben could see that the small islets that had served as stepping stones were coming up, and now the water was rushing forwards in a true rapids. He felt like he was being pounded by a giant as he pinballed from one to the other, the sharp edges of the rock scraping his body raw as they bruised him. Finally his head smashed into a rock just below the surface, and he blacked out.
Edited by Showsni, 10 February 2008 - 02:26 PM.