|Image Source: http://przemek-duda.deviantart.com/art/Symbiont-World-The-Descent-527512593|
Beth felt it start, but couldn't do anything to stop it. The ladder slid and she went with it, riding it down before throwing herself away from it. She landed hard and slid a few feet on the rough weathered surface before she came to a stop. The echoes of the accident faded away, and were replaced by a heavy silence that gave way only for the steady far-off drip of water somewhere in the dark depths below.
Beth lay sprawled out, hugging the surface of some old floor or wall that now lay fallen, propped up at a steep angle. She hurt, but not so great that she feared anything was broken. Finally, and slowly, she rolled to her side, and then to her back.
Above, the sky was visible, like some kind of portal to another world, through the ragged hole Beth had descended through. Light poured down through the hole and showed that this ancient place was one of steel and synthetic stone. Everything here was blunted by water wear, and covered by creeping vegetation. Her ladder was the only thing visible that was free of the tangled vines and creeping lichens.
Beth sat up with a groan and fumbled into her pack for the drone she carried. The small sphere lit up at her touch, and when cast out it took to the air and began to pass a lighted scanning beam around the area. Beth watched as the data began to come up on the control unit. No power, no animal life, no indication of edibles. This ruin was unlikely to yield anything of value. She sighed heavily and looked at the fallen ladder and then to the ragged portal and the sky beyond.
As if in sympathy her stomach gave an irritable growl.