Landfall Cave

Ryane Thompson

Two figures stood in the dewey grass not too far outside Landfall Cave. The woman, tall and dressed in medium-grade biosphere mining gear, was wearing a worn tool belt around her waist. It looked aged, a relic of hard work passed through generations. The man, a good deal shorter, was wearing the same gear, but made of seemingly new materials.
Dragora and Henrik had been mining partners for quite some time, but as tradition dictated, Dragora held seniority on their missions. They had mined in caves all around Tribec, but had never been quite brave enough to accept a commission from within Landfall Cave. Until now, when Grandor had submitted his job request. When reading through the contract, Dragora, sick to her stomach, had no other option but to accept the job. Her mother was lying in the sick bay on Lunos, and she was desperately seeking missions to fund her travel back to her home ship. She was reluctant, of course, but this job offered more than she'd normally make from ten separate deployments.
Now, though, they apprehensively peered into the entrance of Landfall Cave, tucked away in the midst of grassy, green valleys and mountains in the distance.
Henrik took a deep breath, and nervously asked Dragora, "Are you sure about this?"
Dragora looked at Henrik. She was fond of the young man, but had always tried to remain professional while working. They were close friends and had known each other for a very long time, but as team lead, it was her duty to remain confident and maintain her status as supervisor. Despite fighting against it, she couldn't deny her feelings for him, but she could certainly hide them. Their work could be dangerous at times, and being emotionally foolish and weak was the easiest way to lose your life in their profession.
"Of course. I'm just collecting myself," Dragora said. She breathed deeply.
Henrik responded, "We can turn around and tell the allegiance that the conditions were too dangerous. You know the stories, and you know how many people have died here. It's great money, sure, but is it worth the risk? You know that I'll support you either way, but I need to be sure that you're sure. So how do you want to proceed?"
Go into the cave. 
Turn around.