Travel To The Bottom Of The Earth... to place you never dreamed existed. Beneath The Ice... a hand-picked team of specialists makes its way toward the center of the world. They are not the first to venture into this magnificient subterranean labyrinth. Those they follow did not return. Over The Rocks...Across The Yawning Caverns...Beyond The Black River... You are not alone. Into The Darkness... where breathtaking wonders awaits you -- and terrors beyond imaging...Revelations that could change the world -- things that should never be disturbed... At The Bottom Of The Earth Is The Beginning.Keep Moving... toward a miracle that cannot be...toward a mystery older than time.
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May 31, 1999
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Excerpt from Subterranean by James Rollins
Chaco Canyon, New Mexico
Ashley Carter knocked trail dirt from her boots before climbing into her rusted Chevy pickup. She threw her dusty cowboy hat on the seat next to her and swiped a handkerchief across her brow. Leaning over the gear shift, she popped the glove compartment and removed the snakebite kit.
With a knuckle, she tapped the radio. Static rasped from the handheld receiver. Humming, she peeled back the wrapper from the syringe and drew the usual amount of venom antiserum. By now she could gauge it by sight. She shook the bottle. Almost empty. It was time to run into Albuquerque for more.
After cleaning her skin with an alcohol swab, she jabbed the needle into her arm and winced as she administered the amber fluid. Loosening her tourniquet a notch, she wiped iodine over the two punctures in her forearm, then applied a bandage.
Cinching her tourniquet a bit tighter, she glanced at the dashboard clock. Ten minutes, and she'd loosen the tourniquet again.
She picked up the radio handpiece and pressed the button on its side. "Randy, come in. Over." Static as she released the button.
"Randy, please pick up. Over." Her neighbor, Randy, was still on disability from a back injury at the mine. For the past ten weeks, he had earned a few extra bucks under the table by supplying day care for her son Jason.
She started the engine and pulled back onto the parallel ruts that constituted a road. The radio belched a garbled blast of noise, then she heard, "...up. Ashley, what's going on? We expected you back an hour ago."
She raised the handpiece. "Sorry, Randy. Found a new room in the Anasazi dig. Hidden by a rockfall. Had to check it out before the light went bad. But a diamondback had other ideas. I've got to check in with Doc Marshall now. Be back in about an hour. Could you pop the lasagna in the oven? Over." She hooked the receiver back on the radio.