written by Fyren
The sleeping bays are sealed tight on the space rig. I am ready for the next excursion into the deep strata of Hoxxes, but my compatriots appear to be sleeping in. I wander around the rig killing time until the call to load the drop pod. I engage in a bit of barrel kicking, a time honored dwarfish past time. Hoxxes looks so peaceful from up here, the distance from orbit not telling the full story of the hellish creatures that leave beneath the ground. “What are you doing just standing around? You’re late, the mission has started without you!” the voice of mission control reverberates through the station. “What? How is that possible?” I exclaim loudly and angrily as I board the drop pod to catch up with my team.
The pod doors open and I feel a stinging on my skin immediately. Radiation, my favorite. My fingers tighten around my massive gun and I step out in the cavern, to find my team already hard at work. I open my mouth to yell at them for leaving without me, but as I do thick, sticky webs cover my face and hands. The webs stop the words dead in my throat. I hate bugs. I find the offender relaxing on a perch high above, spitting webs from on high without a care in the world. My minigun spins up and the lead storm gives the damn creep something to care about. The bullets land with the most satisfying thud, one of my favorite sounds, second only to the sound of dead bugs falling to the ground which comes shortly after.
The crew makes quick work of our quota, but bonus pay is always worth it. We fan out in silence, searching every last nook and cranny of the cavernous structures. I spy our driller going to town on a pillar of rock. Seconds later he emerges with a monstrous pearl, the size of a whole dwarf. Well, maybe a small dwarf. “Swarm! I repeat, SWARM!” comes the familiar voice in mission control over our headsets. Time to earn my pay. The crew collapses around the minecart and takes up defensive positions like the trained professionals that we are. “Heh, go get ‘em boy” I hear from behind me as an auto turret starts firing into the darkness.
I spin the barrels of my minigun and start putting lead down range. Several small, round, pudgy looking bugs with wings come hurtling through the air towards us, only to be cut down in brutal fashion by the onslaught of gunfire. The minecart beeps and boops excitedly as it is showered with the guts and carcasses of countless dead insects. I spot a large one in the distance, heavily armored, glowing bright green, and dripping acid from its disgusting jaws. I line up my shot, but just as I lay on the trigger something blows me right off my feet throwing me face first into the radioactive rocks. I quickly find my feet and spin around to see dozens of bright red pulsating creeps behind us. “Exploders! Watch out!” We had been so concerned with efficiently wiping out the ones in front of us, we forgot to watch our backs. Luckily for us though, the exploders were the last of them.
With the swarm dealt with and cart sagging under the weight of our bounty, we call in the extraction. “You’ve earned yourselves a nice bonus, now get back to the drop pod. Leaving in T minus 5 minutes” mission control informs us. I’ve got a feeling we missed something though. The cart and the rest of the crew take off towards the extraction point. I forge onward though. Just through the next tunnel I find a huge vein of morkite, the dwarves bread and butter and a small outcropping of the beautiful mineral, holomite. It glistens and glitters in the artificial light from my flares, a deep purple. The standard issue pickaxe makes quick work of the holomite, but the other is far up on a wall. I can’t reach it. “T minus 3 minutes” comes the voice again, warning me that time is limited. I spin up the minigun and shoot at the rocks. Expending about 800 bullets in the process, I manage to break most of the mineral free from the wall and it cascades down around me in chunks.
“Wait for me dammit!” I grunt as I take off at a sprint after the others. Of course no one can hear me. I make it back to the pod with time to spare, but not much. I get on board and strap in. Seat belts are very important. I look around the pod, we’re missing a dwarf. “Hahaha, Die monsters!” comes a voice from outside the pod, accompanied by explosions. Several jets of flame cross the opening before our yellow clad comrade appears covered in toasted insect. “Alright, let’s go” he says, out of breath but with a great big smile playing out across his slightly blackened features. Some days, I really love this job.
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.