The caves went deeper than expected, though visibility was never a problem: the strange rock all around cast a faint glow, enough to see several paces ahead.

“Is it… Organic?” Second Office Pate asked, rubbing a gloved hand along the smooth cave wall.

“I’m not sure but I’m not ready to say no. However, something else has caught my attention. Notice how the colour here is lighter than when we first entered. I just noticed, when scrolling through our photos.”

“Gosh, you’re right. Whadaya think?”

“My first guess is age. Perhaps the caves get lighter as they age? Then again… It doesn’t make sense.”

Absent-mindedly, First Scientist Jop scratched away at the wall. The exposed layer was of a lighter colour. Pate had noticed.

“Jop, look, shit. It’s lighter underneath. You got it upside-down. And since the cave gets lighter the more we go in, that would mean… Aw hell, I don’t wanna find out.”

Overtaken by a sudden wave of panic, the two sprinted out the way they came, expecting some shadowy monster to crawl out of the darkness behind to pull them back in.


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