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The Descent
A Novel
By Jeff Long

   
 

(Beijing, Peoples Republic of China - From Combined Sources) By unanimous vote of the representatives to the G-9 summit, all peoples of the world are to be informed in full of the recent discovery that there exists beneath the surface of the Earth, in a globally extensive network of integrated fissures, caves, tunnels, and caverns, a large and ancient population of organized, bipedal creatures of undetermined intelligence and relationship to human beings.

According to official government representatives in Washington, D.C., and other world capitals, chance discoveries in recent years of portals into the deep interior of the planet have led cave explorers, and then official military scouts, to declare that the so-called "hadal" population has been abducting humans from the Earth's surface for all the millennia of man's existence as a species. Growing evidence of atrocities of almost unprecedented savagery and systematic enslavement of humans by the hadals, generated history's first united, secret, worldwide military campaign against a common enemy.

After nine months of only sporadic and indirect contact with the hadal enemy, a massive and coordinated military offensive by the hadal forces -- "a thousand Tets in a single day," according to a high-ranking American veteran of the Vietnam conflict -- exploded in every region of the sub-planet occupied by human expeditionary armies. One week later, the number of soldiers killed or missing worldwide had climbed to one hundred and ninety thousand. The number would eventually climb to more than three quarters of a million.

It was the greatest military holocaust in history, but beyond the horror of the carnage lay the realization that a great and commanding intelligence was at work in the underworld. Sub-worldwide, the simultaneous attacks are believed to have been planned and executed upon a single order issued from a single source. Some entity had permitted the human armies to enter the sub-planet, lulled them with feigned weak resistance, drew them further in, and then ignited an orchestrated and savage slaughter covering a twenty-thousand-square-mile region.

Reports from survivors of the sub-global expeditionary force are lending increasing credence to theories that the incarnations of evil prevalent in religious imagery and mythology throughout the world can be traced to a single, very natural source. Ethnologists and other experts in human culture are finding increasingly compelling evidence that the creatures known as hadals have been making incursions to the surface of the Earth throughout human history.

 
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