Part 38Thursday, April 27, 20:00
With Tynam's condition explained and most of our soldiers returned, we began planning our next move. Our scientists gathered to try and find a solution to the problem after finishing their recent projects.
The Overspawn, while a terrifying weapon to behold, is actually rather useless in practice. As we saw, it will eventually kill itself, and is weak to airborne attack.
Fresh off their autopsy, the biochemists began researching a counter to the alien building's immune response.
The quantum physicists finished researching the main weapon for our nearly finished Annhiliator, and moved on to find a counter to the energy damping field.
The energy damping field is a powerful weapon, to which Strangleglove didn't think he could find a solution for. Instead the solution found us.
Our UFO detection system also scans for military vehicles in the hands of civilians. In this case, we detected a Valkyrie Transport in the hands of the Cult of Sirius.
Heading straight for Evening Star.
While on route, the ship began broadcasting a request to land and enter our base, with assurances that they were not planning on attacking.
We let them land.
A number of Cultists appeared, one of them asking to talk directly to me. He was searched and we found no weapons or other threats on him. He identified himself as "Psion" and was escorted to the interrogation room where I met with him.
Psion: Greetings Mr. Zander. It's nice to finally be able to meet you.
Otto Zander: Right. Tell us why you're here and what you want, or we'll blow up another of your buildings.
Psion: Now, now, Director, there's no need to get angry. Especially since we have a solution to our mutual problem.
Otto Zander: Which is what?
Psion: These aliens of course.
Otto Zander: But you worship those freaks, don't you?
Psion: Not these extra-dimensional creatures, no way! They dared reject the salvation of the Reticulans and attempted...
Otto Zander: Who?
Psion: Pardon me, the Sectoids. Sectoid is a human word and they take it as an insult. They prefer to be called Reticulans. The creatures we're at war with - as you already know they attacked and captured the Reticulans. You saved fourteen of them on a recent mission.
Otto Zander: How in the hell do you know all this?
Psion: Please director, give us more credit. We've been trying to infiltrate your organization from day one, but have failed. It was actually one of yours who came to us. A biochemist, Sarah Reynolds, became enamored to the DNA structure of the aliens. She claimed it was perfect and we shouldn't be trying to destroy it, we should be praising it, so she joined us. She's been feeding us information for quite some time.
Otto Zander: Then tell me why you bombed the base. Tell me why Staplegun killed...
Psion: Sir, we didn't have anything to do with that. We've taken no hostile action against X-COM, and I'll take a psi-detector test to prove it. Your continued aggression against us is a mistake. We're willing to overlook this however, because we have also made a mistake.
Otto Zander: You're willing to overlook us destroying your temple and bankrupting the Cult?
Psion: Forgiveness is an important part of our religion. And as I said, we made a mistake. Originally we tried to track down aliens in the city, and managed to bring a small number into one of our Temples. We engaged in a discourse with them. You see, we didn't know these aliens were hostile to the Reticulans. We originally told them everything we knew, including the location of Evening Star. When they found out we worshipped the Reticulans however, boy, did they get angry.
Otto Zander: So that was the time you called X-COM asking for help against the aliens.
Psion: Yes, we were unprepared for their sudden turn. Now, it's time to pay them back. War makes for strange bedfellows, and the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Your actions in saving the Reticulans changed the views of many in our religion, though I'll admit there are still some violently opposed to us working with you.
Otto Zander: What do you mean by all this?
Psion: The next alien building you wish to destroy is protected with some kind of field. You will find no defense against it. As you have determined, the only weapon that is effective in that building is the power sword. We have many members trained in sword combat.
Otto Zander: That won't help, there are things we need to destroy...
Psion: Then let me remind you about Jim. Your soldier Mindfish said he exploded like a popper. That means any human can be genetically modified to explode like that. Send in soldiers to become martyrs as they destroy the alien building.
Otto Zander: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Where are we going to find a large number of people fanatical enough to kill themselves like that?
Otto Zander: Oh. Sorry.
We kept talking for over an hour. Psi-detector tests proved everything Psion said. More Cult members were brought into the base, searched, and tested for deception. They all passed. We are now planning on attacking the alien farm with our new allies. It turned out to be rather easy to turn willing humans into poppers. We now suspect that the building's immune response will consider popper-humans "part of itself" and not dampen the explosion. X-COM soldiers trained in sword combat will team up to destroy the alien farm with our new allies. It still feels weird to call them that, but it's our best hope of stopping one of the alien's last defense against us. We have no defense against psionic attacks, but it's a risk we'll have to take.
How did the aliens learn of its (Evening Star's) location? ANSWER: The Cult of Sirius told them.
What is the role of Cult of Sirius in all this?
The Cult has no ties to Osiron and conducted all their communication with the aliens with Skeletoids, so we have no more clues as to the largest of our unanswered questions.