Ranger hit the water hard, but the shock of the cold slapped him out of any possibility of stupor. Pulling his rebreather up to his mouth, he found it cracked and missing a gasket, most likely from the explosion. He tossed it aside, along with most of the rest of his gear — anything electronic would have been fried by the EM pulse, and dead weight was the last thing he wanted in the water. With his knife, he slashed the laces on his boots, and kicked them off into the depths. That made him grimace — he’d just got them to the point where they were really comfortable, and now he’d have to spend a couple of months breaking in a new pair.
Satisfied that he’d jettisoned anything less than essential, with the pounding of his heart now loud in his ears and his lungs starting to ache for a breath, he pulled a tab on the inside of his harness. A dozen air bladders quickly inflated, and Ranger shot to the surface in his best impression of a cork.