Valerie had been on plenty of jobs where things didn’t go according to plan. It was a practical certainty. Mosul, Abydos, Tripoli, Angora, Montenegro, that four-circus disaster in Budapest; you either adapted and made the most of a bad situation, or you cut your losses and scarpered off while you still could.
Losing three quarters of your expedition to a giant mechanical monster? She’d had worse. Trapped miles underground in some buried, beyond ancient highway? They still had food and air. Hell, it beat being in Mesopotamia with no shade.
She was standing in a cavern bigger than New York, hearing the roar of crystal blue waterfalls that made Niagara look like a leaky faucet. All around her was a real, living, inhabited ruin.
That. That was not part of the plan.