The hydraulic drill struggled through the rock bed. Such a deep excavation had never been attempted before, but times were desperate and the miners were starving. Thea felt the foundations of the deep-sea rig quake all around her, the violently rattling pig iron slats under her feet piercing her ear drums. She held her stance strong, knees bent, soles flat against the deck, eyes focused through the view-finder, ignoring as best she could the painful shockwaves pulsing through her, turning her bones and muscles to jelly.
“Thea, we’ve got melting on the Beta Foundation!” she heard the deep crackling voice of the foreman in her ear through her comm-set. She gripped the controls more tightly, feeling her hands sweat profusely in the plastic gloves.
“Did you hear me Thea?!” the voice cracked. “That means pull out now!” Thea pushed her eyes deep into the view-finder, feeling like her insides were being turned to mush.
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