Day 262: Irrational Anger

Day 262:

Still following this vein of ore. Still digging down.

Have you ever been irrationally angry at rock? Like just furiously, axe-breakingly angry? All I want is for this vein to finish so I can go back to the top and start digging up again, but no… no we’re going to just keep going down until there is no down any more and I come out the other side of this forsaken ball of dirt.

I. am.  so. angry!

 

Day 261: I think I have a problem

Day 261:

Remember when I said a few days ago that the whole goal here was to cut a new tunnel back to my home base so that I didn’t have to go up and down the steps so much to get home?

Yeah, I’ve now followed so many veins of ore that I’m, well, let’s call it 30 meters, below where I started.

Which, I mean, yay ore. But also, this is not getting my tunnel done efficiently.

And also also zombies keep falling on my head.

And I’m frightened of the fact that I’m 30 meters below where I started and there’s still a good 30 meter deep cavern somewhere nearby. Because if I fall in that hole, nobody in the universe is going to find me. Well, except the skeletons. But I don’t think they’re going to tell anyone.

Day 260: adrenaline

Day 260:

One nice part about the adrenaline rush you get when you’re literally standing on the precipice between you and certain death is that everything get suddenly louder. All the things you’re not normally paying attention to? Your body decides they are all noteworthy. Water dripping. Lava bubbling. Your own breathing. The breathing of the exploding giraffe corgi sneaking up on you from behind.

It’s been a rough week is what I’m saying.

Also, apparently the lake at the bottom of the chasm with the lava pouring into it is deep enough that the exploding giraffe corgi didn’t die on impact.

But that just gives me one more reason not to fall down into the chasm.

Day 259: More good training

Day 259:

Hey remember yesterday when I found that lava pit?

Turns out that it was a lava lake built into the side of a very deep chasm. Like a “I can see zombies and they look like tiny bugs” chasm.

So it’s really good that even though I thought I knew all of the local dangers and the edges of the lava pit, I continued to test the rock. Because while jumping into the lake below may or may not be safe had I fallen hundreds of meters down, the lava fall that pours down the side of the chasm into that lake may have made that an uncomfortable choice.

Also, why are there so many damn chasms here? Whole blasted planet’s just an air bubble with attitude.

Day 258: training

Day 258:

The first few weeks of training to be a miner, we were taught how to walk.

Specifically, we were taught never ever to put our full weight on a stone we hadn’t tested yet.

Most of this training came in the form of one of the managers or leads hitting us with sticks if they caught us. In fact, any miner at any time in any situation could hit any other miner with the handle of their tool if someone was caught standing with their full weight on an untested rock.

In space, the Company said, we couldn’t necessarily count on rock behaving the same way we thought it did on our home planets. Heck, my team had five people from five different planets (well two planets, two planetesimals, and an asteroid) and we couldn’t count on rock behaving the same way if we went to visit each other for Sunday breakfast.

(Not that we ever did.)

It didn’t take long to learn to test the rock, with a pick, with another rock, with whatever was handy, every time we wanted to step somewhere.

This got us a lot of teasing when we were on leave, because even when we were walking around the neighborhoods where we grew up, we tested the rock, and we looked really goofy doing so.

But this evening when I tested a rock and it fell into a lava pit a few yards below, and I didn’t know about the lava pit or the fact that I was walking on the ceiling of a magma chamber, well, I was glad for good habits.