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Suddenly, he yanked the rope hard. His throat felt desert dry and his heart roared in his chest.
The puckered center opened and a bulbous mass shot up at him.
Grant kicked the probing muscle inches from his feet.
"Pull me up!" he screamed.
"What is it?" Joe called.
"Just do it!"
Grant's body jerked upward as the chalk-colored mound lurched, missing his left shoe. He slammed against the tunnel's murky walls, cursing when his hands sunk into its soft tissue-like warmth. Joe seemed hundreds of feet above, feverishly pulling the rope.
After several more tugs, Grant reached the hole's opening. Sweat burned his eyes as he fought to pull himself to safety.
Joe could barely contain his excitement. "What is it? What did you see?"
Grant tore the rope from his waist and dropped, pressing his forehead against the damp, but solid, ground. He tried to shake the image and catch his breath. Finally, he looked up at his roommate's expectant gaze and said, "It's alive."