"If I hadn't brought that emergency parachute I'd be dead now, killed by that 200-meter fall. I survived that, but how am I going to get out of here? The shaft ends high in the ceiling above me, so I can't use pitons. I could climb up a side wall and extend a spanner out, but they're heavy so I only brought one and it won't get me up high enough. And the expedition isn't yet profitable enough to use high-tech tools like jet packs. I did find some gold nuggets down here; if I can make it out, maybe that jet pack will be mine yet.
"A thought. Water is dripping through cracks in that wall. If I hammered at that a little I might break through and flood the chamber. I could use one of my compressed air canisters to fill my inflatable life raft, break the wall, then ride the flood back up to the shaft.
"The situation looking dire, I inflated the raft before smashing through, weighing the possible wasting of an air canister against the water damage to my equipment if I had to swim. Fortunately it was more than enough water to fill the chamber. By the time the flow died down I was up to the shaft and even partway through. I hammered the pitons into the wall to give myself handholds for the remaining distance, noting with concern the cracks forming in the stone surface as I did. That might be trouble later.
"Back at base I had the nuggets appraised. They were only worth 1,500 credits, enough to replace my used equipment and then some, but not nearly enough for the jet pack. The word from the natives is that there are incredibly ancient ruins down there, unseen for millennia, loaded with treasures both historical and valuable. I'm more interested in the latter, but either would make the expedition a success. I hope I find something soon; the equipment needed to explore these alien caverns isn't cheap, and so far profits have been barely worth the dangers.
"But I'm getting close. I can feel it. Maybe this next trip will be the one."