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He wanted to vomit.  Red lights circled and cyclically illuminated the brave face Harry tried to put on.  Tight lips and a scrunched face gave him away, though.  He hated shuttles.  The craft yawed and the restraints holding his precious crates and equipment audibly strained against the force pressuring them.  His hand shot to the side in the cramped quarters, trying to steady his gear.  His head would roll through a bureaucratic guillotine if he lost a single piece of equipment on this expedition.  The shuttle shook and rumbled in a disquieting display of piloting as it descended through the atmosphere.

He regretted not listening to the quartermaster on the station.  He told had told him it would be an iffy way down and that he should get a second trip for the gear.  Grant money only goes so far, though.  He thought he could be stingy.  That, and that the guy might be hustling him.

A heave bubbled up from his gut and he willed it back down as the ship yawed again. 

He hated shuttles.

He almost regretted calling in nearly every favor he had to get this expedition approved.  He smirked through the unease.  Almost. This was going to make his career. 

He'd managed to keep the prospectors story a secret, even from the committees and board of directors.  It had taken him a fair chunk of his savings, but he'd managed to keep the old survey pilots tales of a monolith in the middle of the Highwoods of Territh Beta under wraps with an incentivizing bribe.  He hadn't bought eternal silence, of course, but a head start was all he needed.

The ship rolled again and his breakfast poked at his throat.  Damn station vendors.   Why did streetfood have to be so good?

He gripped the hand bars and sighed.  It wouldn't be too much longer, only a few minutes they said.  He looked up to his grad student.  He almost envied them.  He missed living under the illusion everyone above him knew what the hell they were doing.  They probably had a rough idea this operation wasn't all it seemed to be, but that's why he picked them. 

He smiled reassuringly to them.  "Rim pilots.  Gotta love em, right?"

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Anwyn winched as the shuttle trembled around them, as if it was about to shake itself apart. That thought was likely to stop anyone from ever stepping foot in a shuttle ever again. But Anwyn was not someone that allowed herself to be frightened so easily. Even so, the shriek of protesting metal was unnerving and seemed to go straight through her. Her hands clenched on the hand bars as her jaw tightened, trying not to flinch at the grumbling sounds that the ship was giving off. She had never been on a ship like this before, but then with the amount of cargo that they were carrying it was not surprising that the ship was being rebellious. The kind of weight that was now pressing down was screwing everything up.

She looked up when she heard the voice of her new ‘Master’, the professor that had accepted her on this exhibition. She couldn’t help but to grin slightly at his comment about rim pilots. Her chuckle was lost in the sound of another metallic shriek, and when it died down she said, “Every time.”

She pressed herself back into her seat, allowing the straps to keep her firmly in place which was a good thing, as the deeper they penetrated the atmosphere of the planet, the more the ship shook and grumbled. She kept her gaze fixed on the professor, which helped keep her grounded as she felt even her seat vibrating. She was glad that she was not a heavy eater, and glad that she did not get motion sick. Otherwise that would be deeply embarrassing. The last thing she wanted was to embarrass herself in front of the professor. She was very excited to being on this exhibition. It seemed to grab at her interest the moment she read it and she had worked hard to be the one that accompanied the professor. 

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