Chapter 3 - Cave of wonder, Cave of fright
The beach was quiet early in the morning on Manniquo island save for a few seabirds bobbing up and down on the waves. A few crabs slowly crawled back into the surf while long strands of seaweed could be seen as far as the end of the beach. Walking alone just on the edge of the incoming tide was a very tall red haired woman carrying an umbrella and other beach necessities on her left shoulder. Although the bundle looked like it was quite heavy, the heroine known simply as Fairchild was treating like it was nothing.
" Ahh...a deserted beach...no idiot guys offering to put suntan lotion on me or showing off their muscles by lifting weights or whatever they have nearby. I can just kick back and soak up this delicious sun with just a few native birds to keep me company.." the heroine said out loud as she put her burden down on the beach.
Fairchild dug out a brightly colored beach blanket from her bundle and stretched it out on the warm sand. The buxom heroine then slowly sat down on the blanket and stretched out her long legs as she gazed at the sun slowly rising in the sky. She leaned back and dug out a bright yellow tube of suntan lotion from a basket next to her. Setting the tube next to her, Fairchild unhooked the top part of her silver bikini temporarily while she lathered lotion over her arms, stomach and chest ( taking particular care to rub liberal amounts over her size 38 breasts). After rubbing in large amounts over her legs, she turned over and laid down on her chest basking in the warmth of the South American climate.
The red haired beauty had only laid down for what seemed like a very short amount of time before she felt a shadow fall across her back. Fairchild opened her eyes and saw the swarthy figure of Carlo, staring out onto the water in the same stern look that he always seemed to have.
" Ummm...is there something I can do for you, Carlo ? " Fairchild said with a noticeable tone of disgruntlement evident in her voice.
" Sorry to disturb you, Miss Fairchild, but your presence is requested back at the hotel for the start of the photo taking as well as some other details Quiero wishes to discuss with you. " Carlo said not even bothering to glance at the semi-nude heroine.
Fairchild nodded as she sat up and slowly put her bikini top back on blushing slightly in fear of exposing herself to the security head standing nearby. She then stood up and started folding up her blanket while looking at the stoic Carlo, who continued to stare straight ahead. " Is it always quiet on this beach in the early mornings, Carlo ? Things are so peaceful around here... " she asked the hotel security chief, who didn't have a trace of sweat visible on him anywhere.
Carlo looked down at the statuesque heroine's feet and moved his gaze quickly up her incredible body till her met her eyes with his. " Ordinarily, this beach is full of the hotel guests basking in the warm sun while stretching out on the warm beach sand but, of course, this is the off season for us which is you ladies have the use of the hotel and beach to yourselves. However, the lack of seagulls in the area is a puzzling sight which I will look into once we are back at the hotel. " the security chief said while glancing around before he started back towards the hotel with Fairchild just starting to follow him.
Carlo walked about twenty feet or so before stopping and looking at the tall heroine following him. " Of course, the guests who visit the beach and look as attractive as you do, Miss Fairchild, wear considerably less than you do when sunning themselves. I'll be at the hotel if you need me at any time over the next few days. Good Day ! " Carlo said before turning and jogged briskly towards the hotel leaving a flabbergasted Fairchild at a loss of words.
One hour later......
The runway was brightly lit with floodlights illuminating both it and the stage area behind it. Entering onto the area closest to the curtains was Lauren Mason, known to the general population as the heroine Yankee Girl. Dressed in a white corset, red satin panties and garters with blue high heel shoes, the buxom heroine seemed far more at ease in the surroundings than the other heroines who agreed to participate.
" Hmmm..this stuff looks pretty good on me...I wonder if they'll give me some free samples to...OOOFF!!! " Lauren thought to herself before she tripped on a slight bump in the carpet and fell flat on her face. She opened her eyes to see some of her fellow heroines looking in her direction with looks of bemusement. With her face turning red in embarrassment, Lauren stood up and, holding her right hand to her waist, slowly walked back to the area behind the stage.
For two people witnessing the fall, the scene that had just occurred was one of far less amusement. " I hope this isn't a bad omen of the show itself is going to go. Who would have thought that heroines who could move mountains and face down the most vile creatures in the world can't do a simple fashion show ? Sigh.... " Valerie muttered as she looked at the workers busily attaching cables to camera equipment and setting up numerous computer monitors.
" Well, I don't think we planned on Valkyrie threatening to send a woman taking her measurements 'straight to Valhalla' or that we'd lose a model due to commitments this late. On the plus side, though, we've managed to generate huge amounts of press with a bunch of positive reports by the major TV networks as well as press and internet articles." Debbie said cheerfully as she looked at her organizer and checked off the schedule for the day. Valerie was always bugging her to get a Palm Pilot or some sort of electronic organizer but Debbie always felt more comfortable with hand writing anything of importance.
" That reminds me...check with Carlo or Quiero about what the status is weather wise for the next 48 hours. I've got a media junket coming in by boat just before the start of the broadcast and I don't want any last seconds foul-ups. I also want extra computer systems set up for the media in case they..." Valerie started to say before being interrupted by the angry shouts of a woman storming out of the back who was gesturing angrily at Valerie.
" I can't believe you expect me to outfit these uncouth muscle bound bimbos, Miss Brown. One of them, that Janet Van Dyne woman, keeps trying to change the design of the very lingerie she's supposed to wear. Another one, Helena Wayne, takes off without any notice at all to me leaving me to move some of the designs to the other models to compensate. If that wasn't enough, one of these hero women, Fairchild, is nowhere to be found for her fittings. " the angry woman shouted at the stunned Valerie.
" Calm down, calm down, I'm here....sorry for any hassles I may have caused." Fairchild said while handing off her stuff to a nearby worker, who took a step before collapsing to the floor under the weight. The heroine walked towards the dressing room with a smile on her face while a still fuming designer followed her snarling to anyone how impossible the conditions she was forced to work in.
" Debbie, next time we hold a show for our products, we don't bring anyone from the Western European division to work on it. " Valerie said with a noticeable look of annoyance visible on her face. She was about to issue more orders when there was a loud shriek from out back followed shortly thereafter by the sight of the curtains to out back parting and the designer being flung out of the dressing area back into the main room.
" It's one thing to be ordered to strip nude in the middle of a packed dressing room area but when this prissy bitch tells me that I'll have to tape down my breasts for the show because they'll interfere with the look of the lingerie, that's all I'm going to take from her ! " Patsy Walker, known to the general population as the heroine Hellcat, snarled at the woman and everyone around her as she stood in the entrance way wearing white panties, a frown and not much else.
The designer pulled herself to her feet and looked around for a second in anger. " That's it ! I can't take it anymore ! I quit !
These..these hussies can take care of themselves ! " the woman snapped at everyone within earshot as she pulled herself to her feet and stormed out of the room.
Valerie shook her head in frustration " What else can go wrong today ? Lemme think..lemme think...Debbie, contact the bank and stop payment on that prima donna's paycheck. After that, contact our lawyers and have them start prelim work on suing the agency who contracted her to us. Once you get that done, wait about an hour and give everybody the afternoon off with the understanding that they'll be back tonight." she said as she looking around the room obviously vexed by what she had seen in the last twenty minutes or so.
Nodding in agreement, Debbie jotted everything down furiously before looking up again at her boss. " Is there anything else you want me to look after or check into ? " she asked in a helpful manner.
" Well...." Valerie started to say before there was another loud CRASHH!! that echoed the room. The two women turned to see part of the curtains for the stage backdrop had fallen down with an angry Valkyrie standing behind it vowing to unleash Dragonfang ( whatever that was) on the next person who tried to lay a hand on her.
Sighing audibly, the agency head closed her eyes for a few moments as if she was trying to make all her problems go away quickly. " Wait thirty minutes and then tell everybody to take the afternoon off. Maybe after a few hours, everybody will be able to get their act together and we'll pull this off successfully. " Valerie muttered before walking back to the main hotel lobby throwing her hands up in the air as she went.
45 minutes later....
"....check that report again, Carlo, because if it's true, we might have to make some quick adjustments. " Valerie muttered to the hotel security chief, who hurried off to the computer room in the administration area. The show boss headed back towards the main show room passing the heroine Fairchild, who looked to be heading to the beach once again, and the blonde haired heroine Fury, who was talking of working out in the gym for weightlifting.
Once getting to the room, she glanced around looking for her aide and spotted her over in the far corner talking to the Black Widow. Debbie, spotting her boss, quickly ended her chat and moved over to where her boss stood clutching a paper in her right hand.
" Carlo just got a weather bulletin from the mainland that is calling for a force 3 hurricane to hit this area within the next 12-16 hours. As a precaution, the boat containing the press people will hold off on coming to the island until it passes over the area. Although I tried to convince the authorities otherwise, they refuse to let any boats go out to here at the present. " Valerie muttered as she handed her assistant the piece of paper containing the information in question.
Debbie nodded as she read over the bulletin handed to her. " Should we shut down the show preparations and postpone the event until the weather passes through the area ? I can have the appropriate message emailed to the news and TV services in less than 15 minutes no problem. " she said as she got out a pen ready to write down the announcement in question.
The agency head shook her head emphatically " Too late to cancel this show now, Debbie. We've booked the internet times and everything is synchronized to go ahead regardless of weather. Besides, the hotel manager Quiero assures me that the hotel was built to withstand hurricanes up to Level 5 in intensity so everyone here will be safe. Carlo is sending any of the staff that want to leave back to the mainland via the hotel boat in 15 minutes. Make sure all the heroines that we've brought in for the show are aware of this pending nasty weather in case they have any suggestions they might have concerning securing everything for it." Valerie said emphatically .
Debbie scribbled down her bosses' words hurriedly " I'll check with the maintenance staff to see how the staff is set for backup generators in case we lose power. I'll also see if there is any possibilities that the phone lines might be lost during the storm. I'm sure that this event can be pulled off and gives us the pr boost we thought it would." she said with an encouraging
" Well, we'll see though my belief in this has been shaken quite bit, Debbie. Hopefully, this comes out fine in the end. Who knows....maybe we can turn this storm into a positive thing....' Lingerie so hot that the lights go out when worn !....'...or something like that... " the agency boss muttered as she headed off to get an alcoholic drink of some sort that she felt she needed at that point.
45 minutes later......
Storm clouds could clearly be seen on the horizon to everyone in the hotel as well as anyone on the beach. At that moment, it was , like earlier, Fairchild walking down the beach wearing a red bikini that looked to be barely covering her assets. Carlo was accompanying her though this time it was not as his role as head of security. He had offered to give the red haired woman a quick tour of the island which included the caves near the far end of the beach.
" The legends are told that pirates which sailed these waters in the 17th and 18th century often came ashore to bury their treasure either on the beach or in the caves depending on how much time they had to hide their loot. Since then, treasure hunters have come to this island on numerous occasions looking for the treasure in numerous spots all over the island. In fact, the caves that I'll be showing you today were rumored to be the home for the treasure belonging to the legendary pirate Orangebeard, whose name was supposedly derived from falling asleep in a load of carrots juice destined for the local governor's palace." Carlo said gesturing towards the ocean and then the island's interior.
" Is there any truth to these tales, Carlo ? Or is it just a local myth that makes it look a great place for tourists to come and spend time here ? " Fairchild said as she pulled down her sunglasses slightly to look around.
" For the most part, it's all just stuff made up by local peasants after one too many drinks of local moonshine. The only thing I can tell you is that the caves here are unusual thought not because some long dead pirate's gold is there." Carlo said while arching his right eyebrow dramatically.
" Really ? Go on, tell me more about these caves... " Fairchild said as the two turned inland and started walking towards the lush jungle undergrowth that made up the interior of the island.
" Well, people who have visited the caves since the hotel was constructed here three years ago have reported feeling much more energetic than before with some of their friends and relatives swearing that they looked younger and more vibrant than when they left to come here." Carlo said plainly pushing aside some of the larger plants that were blocking the way.
" Are you saying there's something in the caves that acts like a modern day fountain of youth ? I think I've only heard that story about a hundred times or so...? " Fairchild said as she stepped over a large tree root that looked to be covered in a swarm of fire ants.
" Well, I wouldn't go quite that far. It'll be like an experience you've never had....URRKKK!!!! " Carlo started to say before letting out a choking sound as a giant boa constrictor snake dropped from some overhanging tree branches and wrapped itself around the security chief's neck in a viselike grip.
Almost immediately, Carlo's face turned a bright red as he found it impossible to breathe. The swarthy Brazilian slapped his right hand onto the scabbard strapped to his right leg but found he didn't have the strength to pull the long knife out. Red spots started to appear in Carlo's vision and he thought for certain that he would slip into unconsciousness followed by death within a matter of seconds.....
Suddenly, a powerful hand grabbed onto the snake that was entangled around Carlo's neck and quickly pulled it free. As his vision cleared, the security chief saw that the buxom heroine Fairchild was grappling with the snake that had come so close to ending his life just a few seconds ago. Carlo watched in horror as the boa constrictor coiled around the heroine's tiny waist seeking to crush the woman to death.
However, almost in the blink of an eye, the tables turned in the struggle as Fairchild quickly pulled the snake from her and hurled it into the sky where it disappeared from sight quickly. Seeing that her bikini top had been jostled loose by the fight exposing her breasts, the heroine quickly adjusted it automatically though she was aware that Carlo was used to seeing half naked women at the beach.
" Thank you, Miss Fairchild, you are a life saver. If you want to go back to the hotel, I'll understand...cough...cough... " Carlo said while rubbing his right hand over his reddened neck area. He glanced at the heroine and was amazed to see the woman was brushing herself off and looking nonplused about what had just occurred.
" No, it's all right. If you're up to it, I certainly would like continue on and see these mysterious caves that you mentioned. Believe me, I've dealt with things a lot worse than big slimy snakes in my exploits." Fairchild said with a slightly weary yet exuberant smile.
After thirty seconds or so, Carlo nodded in agreement and turned to resume the trek inland with the red haired heroine following close behind him. After about 1/4 of a mile, the jungle thinned out noticeably and Fairchild found herself standing in an area that was relatively clear of foliage. In the center of the area was a large cave opening that appeared to have formed out of volcanic rock many years ago. Fairchild couldn't see more than a few feet inside the cave but saw thin trails of what looked like water vapor or steam emanating outwards.
" Where does that cave lead to, Carlo ? " Fairchild inquired as they walked closer to the cave stepping over several large rocks on the otherwise barren sand.
" Well, Seniorita Fairchild, the cave splits off about 40 meters inside to three different passageways leading to various places. The ones on the left and right lead to areas that border on an active underground volcano that lies deep beneath the island. Needless to say, those are two areas that we are not going to be exploring today...unless you want your tan to improve in a very short period of time." Carlo said with his mouth almost turning into a smile for a brief second.
" Well, I don't mind heat that much. In fact, a couple of weeks before arriving here, I fought a criminal who hurled blasts of fire that were capable of melting the pavement beneath my feet. Luckily for me, after a protracted battle that inflicted much damage to the surrounding property, I was able to defeat the madman with the only side effect being that most of my outfit was incinerated leaving me to talk to the media and police in my bra and panties and little else." the buxom redhead said as she stepped carefully into the cave entrance.
" I understand, Seniorita Fairchild. Fortunately, you will not have to test your ability to withstand the heat today as the center passageway leads to the area I want to show you. The passageway goes downward for a short period of time before opening into the area I've described." Carlo said as the two slowly walked forward stopping only to light one of the wooden torches that lined the cave's interior.
The two walked slowly down the cobwebbed passageway stepping around the odd skeleton of a small animal or avoiding spiders that were twice the size of Fairchild's hands. After about twenty minutes or so of steady walking, the passageway opened up into a large cavern that had formations of rock visible throughout the area. Clouds of steam obscured much of the rest of the cave though Fairchild could see what appeared to a large pool of water in the center of the area.
" This is the cave I was telling you about, Seniorita Fairchild. The steam that is in here interacts with the unique rock formations that have formed over thousands of years and produces a unique essence in the air that cleanses the poisons and dirt of modern society from person's body while rejuvenating their energy and stamina...or so the legend goes." Carlo said with a slight smile.
" We come all this way and you tell me I just stand around here in a giant steam bath for a couple of hours ? Is there anything else I should do ? " Fairchild inquired with a note of disappointment evident in her voice.
" Well, the legends do speak of visitors that soak in the pool and are able to withstand the scalding temperature of the water are able to feel the effects much quicker. If you want to give that a try, I can wait by the front of the cave until you're done." Carlo said as he mopped his forehead with a handkerchief.
Fairchild smiled and nodded " Well, as I said, heat isn't a big thing for me so I may as well give the pool a try. I promise I won't be too long....... " she said coyly as she turned her back to her guide and slowly let down the left strap on her bikini top.
" You know, if you're not too overwhelmed by heat, maybe you could join me in the pool and we...... " the heroine started to say as she turned around to face her guide cupping her loose bikini top so that it covered at least part of her tits. To her surprise, Carlo was nowhere to be seen in the cavern she was in.
Figuring that the security chief had headed outside to give her privacy or contact the hotel about the approaching storm, the red haired heroine quickly stripped off her bathing suit and gingerly lowered herself into the steaming pool. Fairchild was surprised that the pool was deeper than she anticipated as her feet failed to touch the bottom at all when she settled in.
As she leaned back, Fairchild found the pool's water was indeed quite hot as Carlo had warned but she could tolerate it with just a little extra effort. She felt a tingling sensation spreading over her nude body as the water washed across her arms, legs and torso which suggested something in the pool besides normal water. Putting a hand to her mouth, she detected the odor of minerals in the water which would explain the feelings she was experiencing. Figuring that this was part of the myth, Fairchild settled back and let herself bask in the heated water as if she was sitting in a hot tub or jacuzzi.
After an unknown amount time, Fairchild stirred from the light sleep she had fallen into and looked around as she got her bearings. The cavern seemed to have even more steam present than it did before which probably was due to outside weather conditions like that approaching storm she heard about. Figuring that Carlo might be growing impatient, the heroine pulled herself out of the water and looked around for her bikini. Much to her chagrin, she didn't see it where she had left it near the pool and the steam was making it difficult to look around the cavern.
" Carlo ? Carlo, if you can hear me, could you come in here for a minute and give me a hand ? " Fairchild called out as she groped her way through the murky cavern. She had managed to reach the area where she thought the entrance to the cavern was when a pair of hands grabbed her around the chest pinning her arms to her sides.
" Carlo...this isn't the time or place for this type of thing..." Fairchild murmured as she felt her nipples rapidly stiffening under the person's massaging her tits.
" Sorry, Fairchild, but this is the perfect time....! " the voice called out with a maniacal laugh.
" WHAT THE ....?? " Fairchild cried out as she tried to break free from the grasp of her unknown assailant but found her strength rapidly draining away. She tried to move her feet to set herself to flip whoever it was behind her but they seemed unresponsive for some reason as if they were stuck to the floor. As the seconds ticked by, her struggles slowly weakened and she found her mind slowly falling into a sea of peaceful bliss charged with erotic tingling from the continued massaging she was receiving.
After a couple of minutes, she felt her arms and body being released from the grip they were in but she felt no urgent need to move or fight. Fairchild was dimly aware of a bra being fitted around her breasts followed by a pair of panties that were tugged onto her still unresponsive legs. Once that was done, she felt her left hand being placed in a position where it was cupping her left breast while her right arm was left hanging straight down. Fairchild then felt her head being positioned so that was looking down and to her right.
Once all this was done, the assailant ( who Fairchild still couldn't see) gently grasped her by the right shoulder. A second or so later, the heroine felt a lethargy building into her body that was much more pronounced than before. It was as if every cell of her body was growing stffer..harder...unyielding...unmoving. The feeling quickly spread throughout her entire body starting from her feet and and hands and moving up over her limbs and torso.
Fairchild was unaware of it in her current frame of mind but the hardening she was feeling was in fact the case as her flesh was rapidly changing to stone. The transformation swept over her sex leaving fingers of pubic hair stand out as daggers of rock protruding slightly from her petrified state.
It was only when the change reached her neck did the truth penetrate the layers of bliss and contentment and Fairchild realized what was happening to her. Her eyes opened wide and her mouth parted in horror that she never got to express as the transformation claimed her head in totality. A granite statue dressed in a white bra and panties now stood where a vibrant heroine once was.
" 2 down...." a voice said from the middle of the mist before a low mocking laugh erupted from the same person.
Several hours later.....
The storm clouds were growing thick around the island and the winds were already gusting at high levels causing several nearby trees to sway back and forth. At the front of the hotel, Valerie stood looking outside with a frown on her face with her aide Debbie standing nearby.
" Timing really sucks for this...well, I guess we make do with what we have I guess..." Valerie muttered as heavy rain drops started to splatter against the front doors of the hotel.
" I'm sure everything will work out great, Valerie. By the way, remind me to ask Quiero where she found the statue to erect here in the lobby. It looks so realistic and she even found the time to put our lingerie on it. " Debbie said pointing to the statue that sat in the middle of the lobby surrounded by a pool of water.
" Yes, its a very nice touch. It even reminds me a bit of one of our models...which one though...hmmm..." Valerie said as she sighed and headed back to the chaos that her show was...
" NO!....DON'T GO!!...IT'S ME, FAIRCHILD!...I'M THE STATUE!!!....DON'T GO!!!!..... " Fairchild screamed mentally as she stood in her granite state hoping someone would free her soon and that no one else would fall victim to this kind of torture.
How wrong she would be.....
Continued with - A Bad Storm On The Rise