In the Himilayians, climbers taking refuge in a mountain cave are lethally assaulted. Army Rangers in Bosnia are attacked during a nightly patrol. Ali, a nun, witnesses a strange relationship between villagers in South Africa and neighbors from the "beneath." A vast underground tunnel system is discovered, and a contemporary Earth learns it has violent, distant relatives living in it. After a costly war rages with the "Hadels" nations from the USA to Russia to China manage to push the inhabitants deep into the planet.
After several years, man begins to inhabit and industrialize the enormous "upper" caves and tunnels. Countries and corporations scramble to stake-out the planet's subterranean regions. Ike, a human taken captive by the tunnel-dwelling Hadels, escapes to the surface to become an army ranger scout. He is worshipped by the soldiers with whom he operates, having morphed into a near-Hadel, but is shunned by a society that finds him repulsive.
Both Ali and Ike are recruited by a powerful corporation to join a large team of scientist and soldiers on a expedition to explore the tunnel system that reaches far below the pacific. Unknown circumstances are forcing some Hadles to surface, causing horror, and tragedy. Humans must quickly grasp the secrets of these long-lived humanoids, and the expedition is the key.
This report prepared by Roger Perry