"Everything starts as somebody's daydream. And, when you're daydreaming, it is science fiction. It's when you start work out how you put it together, true science fiction becomes real science."
The rifters, or divers working on the deep sea rift, have been surgically modified to adapt them to their new environment. One such modification is a device that extracts oxygen from sea water.
Getting oxygen from the surrounding water is the best way to have an unlimited air supply. The history of "rebreathing" devices has a rather checkered history. For example, a Frenchmen named Freminet invented a device that recycled the exhaled air in 1772. Unfortunately, his invention failed to fully recharge the air with oxygen; he died from lack of oxygen after twenty minutes.
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