written by Fyren
The space rig is bustling this morning. Several dwarf brothers are running to and fro, at least a few are congregating around the jukebox which is currently pumping out a heavy bass line and heavily distorted guitar riffs. Good dwarfish classical music. “We’ve detected several cocoons down deep. We need volunteers to go in and take them out before they grow into something worse.” the voice of mission control booms through the rig. Predictably a few of my comrades scurry like rats towards their bunks or any nook where they won’t be found.
I grab my minigun from my equipment locker and give it a reassuring pat. I line up in the launch bay with the rest of the volunteers. We’re headed straight into hell itself for no other reason than to kill the monsters that lurk there. As the drop pod hurtles us towards our objective, the plating rattling loudly, I raise my fist to the crew of fine dwarves that volunteered alongside me. “Rock and stone!” I cry out, the classic deep rock battle cry. “Rock and stone brother” our scout replies.
We land. The sweltering heat of the cavern immediately assaults us as the drop pod doors open. Cinders fly through the air, magma snakes across the rock and lava violently erupts from geysers in the ground. All around us there are strange plants, mostly made of sacs filled with some sort of explosive. The cocoons are found in a massive cavern, lit up with all of the fire. The heat is nearly overwhelming. I feel like I’m starting to cook inside my heavy armor.
The key to taking down a dreadnought, as we have come to call these behemoth sized insects, is preparation. I can hear power drills firing somewhere, before the yellow helmet bursts up from under the ground beneath me. Foam concrete platforms sprout from the walls all around the pulsating cocoon providing several vantage points. I set up a few zip lines giving us easy escape routes and access to higher ground. Anyone that brought explosives places them around the cocoon. We’re ready. This is teamwork.
The cocoon bursts open with very little coaxing, only 2 shots from my sidearm, and the dreadnought comes barreling out towards us. The massive insect rears up on its hind legs and its whole body vibrates with rage. It lets out a howl that shakes countless rocks from the ceiling. Magma drips like saliva from its gaping maw and its body seems to ignite with living flame. It barely gets the chance to take a step though before the boom of satchel charges being detonated sends it reeling, chunks of its natural exo-skeletal armor flying off in every direction. The entire crew opens fire and the dreadnought unleashes its fury. The creature tenses up, shining in the fiery light, and vomits forth a mass of fire that engulfs the closest dwarf. The sick smell of burnt beard hair and toasted dwarf flesh fills the air. More explosives fly through the air and detonate on the creature’s thick hide. It rears up again, exposing its underside which is armored just as heavily as the rest of its body. My bullets bounce off it as if bouncing off the reinforced hull of a company drop pod. It slams down into the rock causing massive jets of molten stone to erupt all around it. The same dwarf that caught the fireball to the face is melted to slag right before my eyes. “Rock and stone” I mutter quickly as I watch the flesh melt right off the bone, leaving little behind but a few bones and a helmet. “…to the bone” I add, before resuming firing on the dreadnought.
At last the armor on the creatures rear end cracks, spouting flame as it does. Here’s our opening, huge sheets of molten rock fall off the creature revealing the squishy and bulbous weak spot. Hundreds of bullets whizz through the cavern, catching the light and shining as they fly before landing with the satisfying thud that can only be found by sinking them into a big bug’s back side. Before much longer the dreadnought is no more than a pile of smoking carapace leaking a pool of magma onto the stones below. I walk over to spit on the corpse, steam rises as the spittle evaporates immediately after making contact. “Die like your mother did” I grumble at the lifeless thing, before turning to join the rest of my crew already hurrying off to the extraction point.
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.