The team proceeded as a group into the cavern, flashlights flared out like the spokes of a wheel. The chamber was similar to the others they had crossed in their journey here. Stalagmites littered the floor, stalactites stabbed downward. Except for one new feature. Ashley rubbed a snowflake from her eyelash. "Damn. It's snowing in here." A small flurry of flakes fluttered through the light beams. Maggie held out a hand and flakes settled on her palm. "They are not cold or wet." Lisa shouldered her way to Ashley's side. Brushing at the sifting of flakes.
"This is bad."
"It's not snow. It's gypsum crystals."
Lisa pointed her flashlight to the branches of gypsum crystals festooning the ceiling of the chamber, like twenty-foot white chandeliers. "They are fragile, delicate structures. Body heat can cause them to weaken and flake away."
Ashley brushed flakes from her shoulders. "I still don't see the danger."
"For this snowfall to be happening now, a lot of body heat had to recently pass through here."
Ashley's eyes widened with the implication.
"We're not alone down here."
Perhaps a few of you readers recognize the above opening excerpt from the thriller novel SUBTERRANEAN by author James Rollins, published in 1999.
I had fun adapting his story into an short "adult" thriller minus the bloodshed and adding the gratuitous sex.
By the way, I highly recommend James Rollins thriller novels as a great read. All his stories are full of adventure in outdoor settings involving modern day explorers, geologists, archaeologists, lost temples with powerful artifacts etc.
Now, on with my adaptation of his story...
Maggie and Lisa met at the university they attended and quickly became lifelong best friends having so much in common. Both Maggie and Lisa loved strenuous weight training, mountain biking, extreme winter sports, camping, backpacking, horseback riding and jogging which keeps them in peak shape with toned bodies and well defined and ripped abdomens – all of which came in handy as both were also very experienced cave explorers. On a lark while in university, both women had entered the Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest and both were selected as Hawaiian Tropic models whose company activities and promotions they performed during their undergraduate university years until the job pressures interfered with their beginning graduate academic work and their scholastic studies were more important.
Lisa earned her advanced degrees as a geologist while Maggie earned hers as a biologist/botanist.
Maggie – is five feet eleven, stunning dark cinnamon-red auburn hair, bright sparkling emerald green eyes, dark skin complexion, with very firm high set full large breasts with a very pronounced European up-tilt to them as befitting her Irish-Nordic ancestry, and a tight shapely muscular ass.
Lisa - five, feet nine, has long beautiful blonde hair that shimmered like yellow-white gold, and sparkling bright almost unnaturally blue eyes. Her breasts likewise are large yet very firm, lovely slim curvy hips and a small tight shapely muscular ass
In the small spelunking community, both women were widely known for their exceptional caving skills and their advanced degrees enhanced their reputation. In the caving community they met two others whom they quickly became good friends with – Linda and Ashley. Linda was another geologist while Ashley was a small invertebrate biologist.
Linda and Ashley were similar to Maggie and Lisa – tall, statuesque, extremely attractive women with generously well endowed firm breasts and highly toned physiques as benefiting their active lifestyles and cave exploration activities.
The four women were selected as an exploration team to explore an extensive deep cavern network in a region of the Transylvania Alps. It was thought to rival in extent the Mammoth Caverns in the United States. The exploration is to include mapping, cataloging, collecting samples and recommendations on preservation.
As part of their preparation they immersed themselves in Romanian since their above-ground support team would mostly be Romanian.
Due to the rugged mountainous terrain and the very sparse population, which never recovered after World War II, and in fact declined drastically as the post-war population trended to move from rural to urban areas also affected this remote mountain realm, the government saw the importance of protecting this beautiful rugged area of the Transylvania Alps and recently designated the mountains as a National Park. Part of this was to map and catalog the underground natural resources so it could be protected, as well as developing as a tourist attraction under strict controls.
For centuries myths and legends abounded in these still sparsely settled extremely rugged mountains. Even during World War II the German's feared to go deep in these mountains.
Tales abounded throughout the German regiments of squads that had gone missing or been found mutilated. Superstitions spread as many of the German regiments had conscripts of people native to the area.
Some of these tales were of the Blajini - creatures in Romanian lore, creatures that could be kind – or malicious. Of pale-skinned monsters, powerful goblins and huge wolf-like hell hound creatures from the underworld that during the deepest nights raided small villages and isolated farmsteads for food, but also did unspeakable despicable things to womenfolk...
Upon first discovery the caverns were found to be linked by a mysterious features that were dubbed "worm holes" - smooth narrow circular passageways just large enough for a person. The were uniform in size and polished to a remarkable smoothness. For the exploration by the four women, someone had come up with a great concept of using individual skateboard like devices they were modified to expand and retract that could be laid upon and act as transport sleds to rapidly traverse the wormholes.
The caverns were also warm. And they got warmer as the cavern depths increased. To help combat the heat the four researchers/explorers had to restrict the amount of supplies they had to pack in and this included a very limited change of clothing. They had to sensibly choose a very few items of lightweight clothing that would help them shed heat and perspiration as well as protect them. For each of them the clothing consisted of one Kevlar thread reinforced lightweight overalls, one thin wicking athletic bra, two thin ribbed athletic tee-shirts and two silk panties.
Several days of exploring the passageways and caverns that went deeper and deeper left them all with barely serviceable Kevlar reinforced overalls and tee-shirts. The remainder of the tee-shirts they all wore had multiple rents in it from being snagged during the numerous narrow passages they had to squeeze through. Two of the researchers had an overall strap torn loose and Lisa had a large rent in her tee-shirt and athletic bra that had almost completely exposed one large firm breast. Even the overalls they wore were holed and ripped despite the Kevlar reinforcing thread. They had previously joked they would have to call ahead once they got back to their starting point or found another exit so someone could bring them some more clothes or else the support staff were going to get more than an eyeful! As they had proceeded deeper underground it continued to grow warmer.
Then they came across an amazing discovery in a cavern. Large translucent cave pearls, while not uncommon, the sizes were. But what the cave pearls contained inside that had acted as a seed to build up concretion shells like what a seeded oyster does that forms a pearl was the startling thing – humanoid skulls, with heavy protruding brow ridges. The geologists discussed this must have happened hundreds of thousands of years ago to have cave pearls of this size but exactly how the skulls became the seeds eluded them, except the former beings must have been cave dwellers.
As the two geologists studied a particular interesting crystal formation, Ashley thought she saw something move at the edge of her helmet light. Startled, she almost lost her grip on a muddy rock. Swinging her light in the direction of movement, she searched but saw only the usual twisted stalagmites. Nothing was there.
Maggie noticing she had stopped, turned to her. 'Do you need a hand?"
"No, I just thought I saw something moving over there, but it was nothing, just shadows moving with my lamp, I guess.
Suddenly a frantic hissing from Lisa drew their attention over to her and Linda. They had frozen into a crouch. Maggie pulled Ashley down beside her keeping hold of her hand. Lisa held a finger to her lips and motioned them to come forward ... quietly.
There is something else in here with us, more than one. All I can tell it sounds like they are large. We need to move as quietly as possible to the next wormhole entrance. As the four women slowly and cautiously proceeded they could begin to hear guttural, rasping sounds. A primordial fear began to arise within each of them, wanting to cower and flee.
Just as they neared the wormhole loud bellows erupted. As one they all swung their helmet lights and hand-held lights to the source and they momentarily froze at the sight that was unveiled by the light.
.... There is more of this story ...