Day 15: More digging, and a theory

Day 15:

All I did was dig. I hit a vein of diorite that led to a vein of of granite that led to a vein of andesite that led… well, you get the idea.

I found some more iron ore, which is good because digging with stone tools kind of sucks, though it beats the wooden ones I was using two weeks ago.

I also found a few small coal veins, which is really good, because I think I’ve figured out how to protect myself here.

I think the monsters are afraid of light.

Ok, let me back up a second.

The skeletons and the zombies seem to catch fire if the sun hits them directly, so I think it makes sense that they’d avoid it. But the exploding things unfortunately appear to be unaffected by the sun (or hey, maybe they’re solar powered! Everybody likes solar-powered camouflage giraffe corgis that explode!).

I’ve seen a few other scary-looking shapes in the dark, but nothing close enough to do a formal identification.

Anyway, I found a zombie in my cave yesterday, in a dark corner. I still don’t know how it got in. Sometimes I swear they just, like, spawn in dark places.

But that’s a good thing, because if my theory’s right, just making enough torches to keep things bright should protect me from surprises in the basement.

I wonder what happened two weeks ago when I came here… I wonder a lot. Those first few days I was stranded I was way too busy just trying to stay alive, but now that I’m spending hours in the basement digging, there’s not much else to do but think. (Things have gotten so bad I’ve taken to singing sailing songs my dad taught me just to not go insane in the quiet.)

There have been stories of The Company stranding miners before, but all things considered, the reasons have always been rumored to be good ones. Thieves, in particular, because The Company isn’t stupid. But anyone who showed violence to their fellow miners, destroyed company property, or incited riots or unions have needed to watch their backs.

The thing is though that all those folks fall under the “You know what you did” clause, and if that’s why I’m here, I don’t know what I did. I’ve tried to be, well, maybe not the model employee because that’s the one that usually gets shunned by the others anyway, but at least someone just good enough to be considered for promotion and just human enough not to look like a kiss-ass. I certainly haven’t stolen anything or gotten violent with anyone.

So if the company didn’t strand me, what happened?

Here’s my going theory.

We usually come in at night, when it’s dark, so that if there are any natives, we’re harder to spot.

And we’re usually dropped a good distance above the surface, and use a combination of parachutes and antigravity hover boards to make our way to the surface and whatever caves we’re targeting.

It’s possible that we dropped into the field here by the shoreline, and immediately got attacked by the local fauna. The Company does look for any signs of large predators, but I’m not sure they would’ve checked strictly at nighttime for skeletons and zombies. And I’m totally sure they wouldn’t have been checking for exploding hell monsters.

I might be the only one who survived the first night. It would certainly explain my lack of memory if we were rocked by multiple explosions. Concussions are nobody’s friend.

And if I am the only one, there’s a good chance that The Company doesn’t even know there’s anything wrong, because radio silence is the norm.

Which means, in theory, they’ll be back in about 13 days, because a 28-day drop is standard protocol.

That means I can relax a little, do more to protect my position, and not constantly worry about missing The Company’s return.

And since everyone else has been killed and there’s absolutely zero sign of intelligent non-zombie non-skeleton life here, I can light as many coddamned torches as I can make and maybe have a monster-free night for a change.

Wish me luck.

Sketch of a floor with a torch embedded into it every 3 feet or so. Includes "Torches every few feet should keep the monsters away?" in the sketch
The torches end up being very close together which is a bit risky, but better than exploding fauna.