In 2267, Vanderberg served as Chief Processing Engineer, at the underground pergium mining colony on Janus VI.

Vanderberg, along with fellow engineer/miner Ed Appel, helped defend the settlement against an unknown "monster" that could burrow through solid rock, and was destroying machinery and killing the miners.

When it was learned the creature was an intelligent lifeform called a Horta and was in fact a mother protecting her eggs, Vanderberg and the other miners reached a peaceful alliance with the creature. They would allow the Horta and her offspring to flourish, and the young Hortas would mine the pergium at a far faster rate than the humans could, making the miners extremely rich.