written by Fyren
A hard-working dwarf is a happy dwarf. This is what I am told everyday at any rate. I push myself out of my bunk and start grabbing my gear from the locker. I can hear rustling in the rooms on either side of mine as my co-workers are doing the same. I head out into launch bay to find that I am the last one ready. The other dwarves are all suited up and ready for a hard day’s work. They are chatting and drinking their usual breakfast beers. “Yeah, did you see the size of that chunk? It was bigger than me! A slight breeze woulda knocked me right over the thing was so heavy!” the dwarf, all decked out in yellow is regaling the others with stories from his last trip.
“Alright boys, we’re sending you in deep. The company wants eggs, don’t ask why.” The booming voice of mission control comes over the loudspeakers in the launch bay. Single file we head on to the drop pod. My co-workers are still chatting and drinking, while I grab a seat and buckle my seat belt. I hate flying. I hold my minigun close for comfort. The drop pod creaks and groans under the stress entering the atmosphere of planet Hoxxes. The drill on the pod fires up, the engines shaking and struggling to keep the drill turning as the whole pod vibrates, threatening to just fall apart. “Deep Rock really needs to invest in some better equipment” I think to myself.
After a rocky ride we arrive in what can only be described as an underground desert. Wind and sand blasted us in the face as the drop pod doors open revealing one of the most massive caverns I have laid eyes on. The ceiling is too far to even see, but the scanning tech supplied by the company tells us that this thing is over 150m tall and over 600m long. The darkness would be oppressive, if not for the sand flying around beating it to the punch.
Methodically we start searching the area for our quarry, alien eggs buried in the sand. Very quickly we manage to get half of our quota stored in the 4-legged minecart. Having cleared the monstrous cavern we move deeper. I head through the tunnel ahead first, putting the biggest gun up front to clear any danger. Good thing too, 4 towering wurms inhabit the darkness ahead. I realize it a bit too late though, the disgusting spit large balls of corrosive acid in my direction and I take every hit. Luckily, my armor protects me from the worst of it. My trusty minigun takes a moment to spin up, but soon hundreds of rounds of lead are flying towards the wurms. They find their targets with ease, embedding in them with a satisfying thud. My fellow dwarves behind me hear the gunfire, and not wanting to be left out I guess start shooting into the darkness as well. A few of their shots dink audibly off the backplates of my armor. “Watch your fire morons!” I scream at them, as the wurms collapse into the sand one after another. I push forward looking to clear the room of any more danger.
I should have watched my step a bit more closely. A vent off to my side suddenly erupts, a huge gust of sand and wind rushing out of it taking me clear off my feet and sending my hurtling into the darkness. I land somewhere in the dark, the impact compensators in my boots struggling with the force of the impact and I crumple to the ground with a sickening crunch. I can’t find my feet, my legs have lost all feeling. I just lay there waiting for help to arrive. I can hear my co-workers laughing on the other side of the the cavern. They just leave me there, while they go about meeting the quota for the day. Soon, the voice of mission control comes through the headset “Well done boys, you’ve met your quota. Drop pod is inbound, make your way to the extraction point”. There I lay, the sand is beginning to pile up around me. The entire network of tunnels shakes, sand falling from the ceiling as the extraction pod lands. Our scout comes to get me just in time. He administers some good old fashion dwarvish medicine, a mixture of stimulants, pain killers, growth hormones and beer; the concoction is 30% alcohol by volume and never fails to get even the most injured dwarf back on their feet. The crew runs for the drop pod, I use the minigun to cover the retreat. Bugs of all descriptions emerge from the sand determined to slow our progress but they get mowed down by my lead rain.
The drop pod stands in a small-ish cavern, resembling a monument of our salvation. The local insect life of Hoxxes is relentless though. “Flyers incoming” I yell as several bugs that resemble grotesque skeletons with wings swoop down towards us. I manage to pick one off before they make it to us. One swoops down and grabs our driller, the one clad in yellow, and miraculously manages to fly off with him. The strength in these large insects continues to amaze me. I pull out my sidearm and line up a shot. I’ll likely only get one chance. I hear the doors of the drop pod opening behind me, but try not to think of it. The sand and the darkness make aiming difficult. I squeeze the trigger and the shot finds its mark, the flying nightmare explodes mid air covering my compatriot in green goo and guts. We board the drop pod and extract out, back home. I wonder for a moment if I’m getting enough hazard pay for this kind of work. I guess though that this is just another day in the office for a deepcore miner.
Diary of A Deepcore Miner is a series of stories that is based on real events and experiences while playing the co-op survival mining game, Deep Rock Galactic.