'The hell?'

I am woken by the sound of some sort of heavy machinery. It sounds close, but it shouldn't be able to reach me. I'm 6 feet in a wall of solid bedrock. There's no way it can reach m-


We hit something else... That didn't sound like the rock we've been blasting our way through for the past few hours.

"Kill the Thunder Driller! Something's up!" I shout into my walkie-talkie.

After a few moments, the drill slowly shuts down, and the vehicle's back opens up. Duke looks out the side, removing his protective eyewear.

"What's up?"

"We hit something else. Don't move."

I walk up to the wall, and knock on it. It sounds hollow, but it also sounds like something is occupying that hollow space.

"Back up the Driller!"

The machine roars to life, and spews black smoke from its pipe. Duke looks behind him and the Driller rolls backwards.

"That's good!"

The machine stops, and powers down once again. I grab a piece of dynamite, and light it. Setting it against the wall, I yell out an alert.

"Fire in the hole!"

Seconds later, the explosives go off, creating a large hole in the wall. A few miners run up to inspect it.

"Alright. Doesn't look like anything. Not anymore."

"Guys!" One of the others yells, "come have a look at this!"

I dash up to the group, and they rush me to the target of interest.

Embedded into the wall is some kind of organism: a humanoid being made of rocks and blue crystals. I step forward, and it doesn't move. It's eyes are pitch, showing no signs of any life.

"It's alright," I yell, "it's dead."

We move in to attempt to extract it from the wall.

Sadly, it is, in fact, very much alive. Roaring, the creature rips itself from the wall, stamping the ground with its feet.

"Fall back! Retreat!"

Before the order can be followed, the monster grabs hold of a rookie, and attempts to stuff him down his throat. Screaming, the rookie's legs are the only thing sticking out of the being's maw.

"Nelson!" I yell, as the nearby men hit it with the weapons at hand, pickaxe, shovel, banana, anything on hand, but the monster doesn't even flinch.

Behind us, Duke fires up the Thunder Driller one more time, its drill and lights coming on.

"Watch out!"

The menace had already completely swallowed the rookie miner and we jump out of the way. Charging forward, the Thunder Driller approaches the creature.

It turns, and its eyes grow wide. It has no time to move before the large industrial drill pierces the top of its head and goes straight down into its bowels. Spinning violently, the monster roars and flails in pain.

Soon, the creature is sliced in half, killed.

We stand, unable to believe what just happened. Some of us remove our helmets in respect.

Moments later, an identical roar is heard down another tunnel.

Not hesitating, we all jump into the Thunder Driller's cockpit or any other chain or ladder we can grab.

"Go! Now!"

The Driller speeds down the tunnel we entered from, not stopping for anything.

I look back to see the glowing crystal bodies of other creatures gathering around the body of their dead comrade...