The sun had risen, and despite the constant industrial disruptions caused by natural resource extraction over the past 2 decades, the humid tropical environment of the rainforest provided a scorching breeze to its inhabitants and a pungent smell of vegetation that filled the air. Flowers, decaying vegetation, soil, wood and leaves all produce scents that come together to create something extraordinary like the smell one might have experienced in a greenhouse with a vast variety of plants. The strong smell of flowers attracts pollinators like bats, moths and other insects.
The last people to arrive were Pan and a few porters, for a total of 33 people. All of the people gathered for the exploration were capable men within the British Archaeologist association apart from Pan.
Each team kept a fixed distance from the others, and at the same time they sized each other up, so every single member of the crew could improvise individually or cooperatively when an unprecedented matter occurred
Arthur gestured a signal to Larry at a pace that even seasoned members of the expeditionary crew would not be able to spot unless they have had countless engagements with Arthur and Larry during the expeditions in their lifetime.
Arthur quickly reminded the assignments to all the people gathered in the cave.
"Aight people, the recon team has already deployed unmanned drones. Looks like theres gonna be a lot of fun in there haha. Anyhow, my team and I will take the lead, Larry you take care at the back. Luc, watch out for your team and don forget that you
e in charge of taking notes of any necessary data on the way. Kerem, you keep in contact with the base commander. Ah…and Larry, keep your wits around Pan haha….."
After a short debrief, Arthur took a deep breath and opened his mouth again
"Aight lads, I hope that things will go smooth and sound. Lets not waste any of Pans precious time, if yall don have any issues with what Ive just said well be heading in a few minutes."
Whilst everyone was busy checking their equipment, Larry walked towards Pan with steps light as feathers, steps that resembled a lulling cadence with rhythmical effects from the coarse landscape of the cave. Larry has been instructed on formal etiquette during his training in the event where he will have to accommodate prominent figures with an aristocratic background.
"I would like to apologize on behalf of my colleague Arthur Ronald for his inconsiderate manner. I am Larry Woodwick Sanderson. I am the head archaeologist of our expeditionary crew, it is a pleasure to accommodate a great figure like the world-class chef Pancho Tsukamoto. Please do not hesitate to direct any of your concerns to me, it is crucial for me to perceive your considerations in this journey."
His voice was soft, yet its rich tones allowed everyone to feel his heroic spirit through his well-built chest. Larry slightly bowed his head with a perfect standing posture whilst placing his left hand across his chest.
Another man stepped forward from Larrys team.
"I am James Turner Bailie, it is also my pleasure to serve the world-class chef Pancho Tsukamoto. Please also tell me if you need help with anything in case senior Sanderson is not present."
The two men stood elegantly before Pan.
"Thank you for both of your kind considerations, please regard me as Tsukamoto-san whenever possible. I will make sure to tell you if I need assistance."
Although Pan is confident with his English, the two British men who are at least 1 meter 85 centimetres tall pronounced his Japanese name perfectly without much unnecessary effort.
I knew that the archaeologist Larry was keeping his guard up around me but to think that the man had to assign another person to keep me in check in case he is not able to do so.
The cave was impressive by its enormous size by volume as well as the meticulous yet coarse and rough landscape. The cave was one of the phew caves on Earth that have its own lush tropical jungle, underground water and unique climate despite the scorching breeze in the Amazon jungle. According to the data gathered from Pan, the archaeologists have concluded that the cave erupted as a result of natural earthquakes and turbulence over numerous centuries, meaning that natural interruptions unearthed the ruin that was hidden deep beneath the earths soil.
One probable explanation why ruins like these had not been explored was because the surrounding land was dominated by colossal ironwood trees hundreds of years old as far as the eye could reach, with no traces of ancient cities nearby to catch explorers attention. In addition, small hillocks of dirt were scattered around them like stars in the sky. The central tip of the cave entrance protruded a little, but one could only see it after climbing to a high vantage. However, the true reason behind all of this was the sacred mist lands biome of this area, the locals of the jungle had started a civil war merely because of governmental intervention to discover the land, the war lasted for a few years but both sides have agreed on a non-archaeological activities treaty.
An explorer voiced a discussion on the way:
"No doubt about it. In truth, Im quite excited about unexplored ruins. After all, there may be startling treasures."
"Thats gonna be a bit hard to say, but given that there haven been any problems for the area around the ruins, its pretty clear that there aren any dangerous booby traps within. More than that, Im much more uneasy that our client specified a location for an exploration like this."
The campsite was situated on the plains. One would say it was an ideal location.
Since it was surrounded by scattered hillocks, which blocked the line of sight, the crew did not have to worry about being spotted from afar. All they had to do was to be mindful of the emitting light from their lamps and torches, and it would be very hard for others to spot them. This is not a particularly great season for tourism as well, thereby the management team can handle the expeditions with much less effort than usual.
And because of that-some explorers were afraid since not all of them were blinded by money.
"How did our client know about this place?"
The most likely answer was that the client had searched for an ideal location for a campsite around here for some personal reason. That would explain a lot.
Conversely, if that were the case, it would raise more questions in turn. For instance, why had the client thought of having a camp in such a secluded spot, and why would a famous chef enter a restricted jungle territory?
"Apparently, this was research he had conducted during his college years. The client said that he wanted to discover more about the ancient cooking thing or something similar to that. In the end, we are just escorting a client down a cave and well receive a fortune that can retire us from this profession."
"Speaking of which, have you decided on what you might do after this Barry?"
Barry, the oldest explorer of the crew, raised his eyebrows and looked back at his colleague.
"I would probably want to move away from London. Maybe living in Romania isn a bad idea, Ill be able to purchase a high-end property in a city where there will be lots of entertainment to enjoy for a 59-year-old man like me. After all, all my children have already moved out and built their own families."
"Hehe, that sounds very nice, to be honest. Ill be able to make some investments on a large scale to keep my wealth from inflation then I can enjoy a fruitful life afterwards. But first, Ill move to Las Vegas to buy a penthouse to enjoy for some time first."
Luc pressed down his hair and spoke after the members of his team finished. The other explorers spoke in quiet tones like they were spitting on the ground.
"Pay some mind to this matter, we can discuss whatever dreams we want to pursue after this. For the time being, we all have to focus on the current situation. We have already travelled 350 meters from the entrance."
"That is true, the signal from the campsite is constantly being dispersed right now."
Said Kerem whilst he was putting away his contact device.
The men continued to focus on their tasks. After about half an hour of walking, the Mayan ruins appeared in front of everyone.