Part 12: Revisiting Old Places
Update 10: Revisiting Old Places
"This is Commander Vault, February sixth, situation update report.
Christ what a week. Why doesn't the council listen to me more? I tell them soldiers aren't ready for real combat. So what do they do? They make a whole squad out of my rejects. I tell them the South Pole is too far away and not worth the manpower right now. So of course the squad of rejects gets sent there to spearhead an expansion project.
Fuck what a mess that was. All but one die in the field. The one lucky son of a bitch that survives gets shot down with the helicopter over South America. The best part about it all is that after I told them it was all a bad idea, they make me clean up after them.
So while I've been in the base all week, most of Phoenix Squad has been enjoying their longest helicopter ride ever. At least I got to rub it into the councils face that I in fact do know better then them when it comes to running the military arm of the CoE. That's why I got this job in the first place.
I shouldn't be so mad at them. We have to work together to make it through this, but at least they will have to listen to me more when I tell them something is a bad idea. I feel bad for the Major who was given that command though. They really set him up for failure. He's still a smart man with military training, there are few enough men like that left and we need to keep the ones we do have.
Aside from dealing with the council members and the disaster with Lemming Squad things are progressing around the bases. The teleporters are up and running smoothly. Research is moving ahead at full speed and given us a few new breakthroughs in the last week. Most importantly to me however is the recovery of the files from Area 51."
October 23, 18:00, 2084
I initially began writing this journal to document what we have come to call the Third Alien War. I now realize that as humanity is on the brink of destruction that this journal is the only record we may have to inform future generations exactly how X-COM failed to defend Earth from the greatest threat we have ever seen. Our enemy is overwhelmingly powerful and our scientists foresee no hope of victory.
Someday, after generations of slavery, we may be able to defeat our oppressors and someone will discover my journal. This hope is what will keep me going in the dark days ahead.
If we forget our history we are doomed to repeat it.
I was right. This is a the journal of Commander Otto Zander. I saw him on Sensovision after the dimensional gates were closed. But he talks of enslavement. By whom? This was actually his last entry, but moved up to preface the entire rest of his journal. What did he know that he wasn't able to write here?
Saturday, July 14, 21:00
It has been a month since my last journal entry; a very quiet month. There have been no confirmed reports of alien sightings or UFOs in the city in months. It looks like we've achieved a thorough victory.
The destruction of the dimension gates appears to have only one drawback. Many of the new weapons and technology discovered in the war rely on a form of dimensional travel. For example, the devastator cannon and heavy disruptor beams draw huge amounts of energy from another dimension, and the vortex mine operates by drawing in anti-matter via a small dimensional portal. It appears that by severing the connection between our dimension and the alien's dimension, we've severed all inter dimensional connections. We believe the alien's dimension generator building had multiple functions beyond simply generating the dimension gates. Almost all of our new technology will no longer work as originally intended. Disruptor weaponry can still function when charged from an appropriate power source, but the difficulty in such a process makes using conventional weaponry more lucrative. The infinite ammunition these weapons possessed was a huge reason for their introduction to the X-COM standard, but now they fire themselves dry with astonishing quickness. Since all of our research was based in either the fields of disruptor weaponry or biological warfare, X-COM's arsenal is now useless. Conventional human weaponry would have replaced our arsenal if X-COM was still needed. Some disruptor weaponry will remain with X-COM for emergency use.
X-COM hired ninety-eight soldiers in this war, and experienced a 74.5% casualty rate.
Here is his entry regarding the end of the war, but it offers no clues. We won. Everything is spelled out right there. The aliens lose, we win. Who is he talking about when he mentions enslavement? Well, at least its a little encouraging that our casualty rates are no where near X-Coms yet.
October 23, 17:00, 2084
I don't know where to begin, and I only have an hour to explain everything.
I look at the holocamera feed from outside the base and I can't see anything but my own personal failure. It's hard to admit that you are personally responsible for the destruction of everything you hold dear. I must have made a mistake somewhere, but I'm at a loss as to what exactly I could have done differently. The only thing I have left to do is describe what's happened to us in the hopes that someone will someday read this and understand. Perhaps even forgive.
We've been given an ultimatum - deliver the entire X-COM Ufopedia and Dr. Strangleglove by six p.m. or deal with the consequences. Even though it means the death of X-COM and countless civilian lives, it's a decision I will have to live with for...fifty eight minutes.
I write this entry from Evening Star underneath the emergency lighting. We haven't had main power running for over an hour...
"My god... It goes on from there, Zander hurriedly explaining everything that went wrong after the aliens were defeated. The androids. Androids had betrayed X-Com and were poised to enslave all of Mega-Primus, and from there they would only spread. Survivors had told tales of them behaving funny, dismissed as errors or malfunctions. In reality we were on the brink of having ourselves be conquered from an enemy lurking right among us that we never even suspected. But that never happened.
Nightfall saw to that. We lost every scrap of advanced technology during that, androids included. There must be more to this puzzle. Zander and most of the X-Com staff died in the android attack, or I'd make my top priority finding them. In fact, as far as I can tell from the logs the only ones not accounted for are the soldiers Velius, Redeker, Oystertoadfish, Koil, Chuck Charlie, and Jade. Also unaccounted for are the Cult of Sirius collaborators Psion, Lacroix, Fatness Guru II, and Sindowns. God I hope one of them survived somewhere. They could answer a lot of questions.
There is a lot more to his logs here, but most of it concerns AW3, and aside from the autopsy and combat reports involving spitters, little of it directly aides our fight. I've been pouring over it while waiting for the squad to get back, but it makes me thing about things. Here I am, leading our best chance for survival against aliens. Carrying on Zanders legacy almost. Will my journal one day be found in the darkness and read like this?
Fuck I don't want to think about it. Pause recording.
Resume recording. Where was I? Aside from the recordings we found there were also lots of blueprints and Dr. Stanglegloves research made during AW3. We're trying to put it to good use, but it will take some time with out a mind like Stranglegloves. We have however completed research regarding plasma weapon operation, improved armor for our soldiers, and alien containment.
With these advances out next step it to take some aliens alive and interrogate them.
I've had word that the squad is coming back from the mission at Volstock. We've got them on the radar but they are not transmitting anything just yet. Not after what happened last time. It'll be good to have them back at the base. Booya, Val, and Golden are up for some time off. The rookies are going to be taking on some missions to help us push north and then toward Europe. We've been picking up a lot of UFOs there lately. Even shot one down, but it crashed in the Atlantic. I figure Hero or Rabbit will be good choices for squad leader while Booya is at base. Hero has a lot of experience in the field and Rabbit had police training and experience.
Anyway, nothing more to report on until the helicopter lands."
"February seventh, Volstock mission report.
The squad finally returned to Denver Base, teleporting in after landing at Managua. There hasn't been anything to report on since my last entry, so I'll get right to the mission report."
Golden: God damn its fucking cold here.
Vallhallan: Seriously, even I have to agree with Showers.
Booya: Stow it freezer pops. CoE fucked something out down here and we need to fix it.
Hero: I heard around the base that a squad of rookies died out here.
Canuck: Something about mind control too.
Rabbit: Whatever happened, let's make sure it doesn't happen to us.
Booya: Agreed cotton tail! Move up slowly.
Ackbar: Infidel spotted sir! I've never seen this one before.
Booya: Whoa! It looks just like that Mexican monster.
Booya: You know, the one that eats all the goats.
Vallhallan: The Chupacabra?
Booya: Yeah, its the Chupathingy. Better kill it.
Rabbit: Theres another one!
Golden: Totally blows away your Chupathingy theory.
Booya: Shut up Showers. Maybe it has kids.
Golden: Lots of kids?
Canuck: Christ, they're everywhere.
Hero: Keep shooting. If they're four legged then they don't have guns.
Canuck: Kill them before they can get to us. Right!
Rabbit: Uh.. It may not be that easy.
Booya: We hold our ground here! Set up and kill your closest target!
Hero: Fuck that one got a little close.
Ackbar: The devils keep charging!
Booya: Then don't stop shooting! And try aiming with your eyes this time. I don't want to end up like Lemming Squad cause Allah was too busy to aim for you!
Hero: Watch it with that! The rocket blast nearly singed my face off.
Rabbit: They're coming right for us!
Vallhallan: Missed one.
Golden: You're one to talk.
Hero: Shut up and shoot!
Booya: Good gravy.
Canuck: Look at all of them.
Rabbit: Sure was a lot.
Hero: Everyone alright?
Golden: Good here.
Vallhallan: I'm okay.
Ackbar: I am fine.
Booya: Good, that was pretty close. We'll take a little walk around here and see what we can find, but I think we've accomplished the mission.
"Turns out there is a huge transgenant population on the south pole. Including a new type of transgenant that wasn't recorded by Lemming Squad.
While the boys at medical claim they can't move very fast on such long legs, our boys saw otherwise. They're fast and came in large numbers like a pack animal. Some kind of transgenant wolf or something? Well, at least a wall of automatic gunfire was enough to stop them. Booya is calling them Chupacabras, but the med boys are naming them Chompers for their fierce set of fangs and jaws.
It's good to have the squad back after nearly a week of travel time to and from the South Pole. The guys will look forward to their time off, and Hero is happy to be back in the action.
Haggis is a bit over due with the latest inventory of the armory. With the laser weapons available now would be a good time for the squad to check if they want to swap gear. Almost forgot, we managed to manufacture our first suit of enhanced light armor for the squads use. That's been given over to Haggis as well. We're making more now, but they take about 23 hours to make per vest, so supplies are tight as usual."
Posted by Mutant Headcrab 'Ackbar'
Journal of Nitin "Ackbar" Argawal
Allah certainly works in mysterious ways. For the past several days, I have been feeling...agitated would be the best word. While I have been doing my best to keep my views to myself, I cannot help but notice that already my fellow warriors chafe at my opinions regarding women. Though not directly confronted, I have still heard their whisperings in the hallways.
I was offended, of course. I believe I have shown great restraint as far as that is concerned. Well, they are infidels after all. What would they know.
These events left me in a dark mood. That mood was lifted after what should have been a simple run to the armory. I was going to talk to Haggis and check on our stocks of ammunition for my rifle. While I was there, that little girl, the daughter of the woman "Rabbit", presented me with a piece of paper. On it was an image in crayon of myself and my rifle. It was crude, true, but it somehow warmed my spirit and the mood which lingered over my soul has lightened.
I've decided to place the drawing in the back of this journal. I do not know why it touches me so. I shall have to find some way to thank this girl-child, though how, I know not. Perhaps a discreet question or two to one of my comrades?
Praise be to Allah! After trudging through the ice and snow, it feels so good to return to our base! Never have I felt such a temperature and never do I wish to again!
Though the mission was a success, I fear I may have caught a cold. It shames me to think that my first real use of the medical facilities is not for wounds obtained in a glorious fight against the infidels from the stars. No. It seems like it will be for an insignificant illness of terrestrial origin.
Perhaps I will run into Valhallan sometime today. I have heard him refer to Golden as "Golden showers." He uses it as an insult, but it is none which I have ever heard. I must ask him what such a thing means.
Posted by Garfield - Der Film 'Golden'
Log of January something-something
Oh boy, that last mission was quite something. We never even moved more than 10 feet from where we entered the area. The just kept coming at us. Still it wasn't too hard, none of us got injured so between these mutant things and those Aliens, well it's no contest.
Believe it or not I really had no idea Rabbit even had a kid let alone was here with us, but I noticed her the other day wandering around the base. Cute kid, reminds me of why we are doing all this. I wonder what it would be like growing up with no fear of Mutants or Aliens attacking? Secure in the knowledge that you are safe. Ah, whatever i'm no good with this serious stuff anyways. I do what I do, I don't need a reason to hate those things.
Which reminds me, I gotta do something about that nickname. Or at the very least get Vallhallan back for that. Hmmmm..... I wonder what kind of things he hides in his footlocker?
Log of Januray day after last
Hoo-ee, I certnly hope we gret the nexct mission of f, because I am danmn drunlk rightnow and plsn to stay that way. Lord koewas tt i'll hasve onae hell ofa hngover tommorow.
Posted by Dinictus 'Rabbit'
Personal Log of Raveena "Rabbit" Sen
February 2nd, 6th Entry
Well, that was a trainwreck of epic proportions. And human lives had to pay for it.
I heard from Commander Vault a bunch of rookies got sent to the South Pole. It was all but a suicide run, I've heard. Left one survivor on the field, and that guy never got to touch down because some AA shot him down on his way back. So it's not just those poor schmucks from Lemming squad, but also those pilots.
I've asked Commander Vault why in the world the CoE would even consider such a thing, sending out people to the end of the world just to die, but even he was at a loss. I didn't even try to make sense of it any longer, after that. I'll just try to keep a few words for them tonight. God rest their poor, unfortunate souls.
I've finally managed to talk with Ackbar about things. He's very, very hesitant, to say the least, to speak out eye to eye with me, and I think it's not just me. A bit of deviancy, a bit of uncertainty. I've seen it before. I just hope that will pass over time, because we all rely on each other. I've told him just that, as well.
Again, I guess we'll just see how things will pan out.
Personal Log of Raveena "Rabbit" Sen
February 7th, 7th Entry
Lucky seven. We just rounded up the Volstock assignment, so this in an in-field report.
Pretty much on entering the conflict zone we were charged by what could only be described as hell on high heels. Baying beasts on stilts for legs. Booya called them Chupacabra's. Choops easily flows from the mouth when those fuckers come barking at you. Goddamn, they're fast, and they take quite a hit as well. I think it was a few lucky shots to their legs that made us realize just what to target, but shooting at those legs is just hard.
Spitters, jelly-beasts and Cudgels just finished the whole parade from hell.
And they just kept coming like a nightmarish rainbow of sorts - hounds in every colour, those purple Spitters... I'm glad Booya told us to keep close together. I don't think we could do anything else, though, given the full assault by the transgenants. I'm usually not superstitious, but I think we might have a little luck on our side today. Those Choops really came out of left field.
We're rounding up some of the corpses for transit while a few of us keep watch for stragglers, but so far, none. Let's hope it remains that way. I can't wait to see my baby girl again.
ADDENDUM: They've called the Chupacabra's CHOMPERS?!
Posted by Canuck-Errant 'Canuck'
[PERSONAL LOG ENTRY OF JEAN "CANUCK" MAURY]
[ENTRY 05, FEBRUARY 06]
Why do they keep sending us to cold places? Why can't we liberate the Caribbean or Brazil or southern France?
Posted by Colander Crotch 'Vallhallan'
Log Entry- Dick McReady
So it looks like I was right about that team Lemming. Why they even chose that name I will never know. It was almost as if they wanted to fail out there. Of course they had to send us in to clean up the mess that those idiots ran into. I suppose that is just the price we have to pay to- hold on.
Fucking Golden Showers was looking through my foot locker. I don't know what he was looking for, but if any of my booze goes missing I am going to kill him, especially if it was that single malt scotch that I found during one of our missions.
Posted by lilljonas 'Hero'
Log of Megan "Hero" Okembo, part 6.
Oh my God. So, first we are critically low on soldiers, just me, Booya, Valhallan and Golden. It sucked, and we called for more guys since we got shot to pieces. We get some good recruits, and all is well. Until those eggheads at CoE starts believing that it was just pure manpower, not good equipment, practice and teamwork learnt in the field that made the difference. And so they sent the "Lemming Squad" to conquer the God damn South Pole. A bunch of rookies who thought that this is like Die Hard 16: Hardly Hard. Yeah, just run in there with a pistol and some one-liners, and it's aaall going to end up nice.
None of them came back. They are all dead. Instead of doing something useful like helping at the base, get some training and get warmed up by joining us on the safer missions. Fuck. Like we had that many people to waste to begin with.
The good news is that we got through the clean-up from that awful mess without a scratch, the first for a mission of this magnitude. Those hounds from Hell came at us quickly, barking and snarling, and they were pretty close. They were fast, but our bullets were faster.
Back at the base, it seems like Rabbit did talk to Ackbar, since he's been a bit more low-key and not as much in our faces lately. Perhaps fighting with the squad will broaden his horizons a bit. Also, we are hearing rumours from the armoury that there are new flak vests in production, something that put a smile to the faces of the entire squad.
Val, Golden and Booya is up for some well needed R&R. While it was frustrating to be held back in Med before, it was for the better. Being out there all the time takes its toll. However, those three spots will be taken up by newer recruits with less experience, so I guess us "veterans" will have to buckle up. Booya and the others doesn't want to admit it, but I know how worried you get when the squad is out there and you're at the base, unable to do anything. Wondering if being there would have changed anything. Like last time.
But now it's time to celebrate their first completed "tour", so to speak. I managed, after haggling for a while, to secure some booze from Haggis. It's not champagne, but it will do. And while the rest of us have to be on our toes, there's three guys who ain't going anywhere for a day or two. Perhaps I shouldn't include this in the log if the Commander checks it. I'll go ask Val if he knows how these works. At least I can just remove it later or something.
End of Transmission.
Posted by Dexanth
Excerpt from Alien Love Affair, Issue 23, publishing date December 24th, 2060.
Betty shook her head as Syvorax approached. "Oh, no, we couldn't possibly!" she gasped, denying the passion flooding through her. She couldn't understand it - The man before her was part Sectoid, part enemy, yet somehow raging passion was flooding through her. Syvorax bore down on her, grinning lewdly, "My mind can stimulate your lust, make you desire forbidden fruits." He leaned down, whispering in the helpless woman's ear, "And you know...there's a reason they never show Sectoids without a loincloth on..."
Records indicate the remaining text was illegible, covered in some sort of dried substance.
Posted by Canuck-Errant 'Canuck'
[PERSONAL LOG ENTRY OF JEAN "CANUCK" MAURY]
[ENTRY 06, FEBRUARY 06]
I have a bad feeling about the next mission. A dream, like, only...
I'm going to bring my lucky rabbit foot charm along. Hell, it's lasted this long, and... well, it's the only thing I have left from my sister. I... fuck, I'm not going to talk about it. I don't want to remember.
I just hope it keeps me lucky.