Part 20: The Good, The Bad, and the Crustacean
Update 18: The Good, The Bad, and the Crustacean
"March eleventh, strategic update and report.
The bad news continues to get worse, but the good news keeps getting better. The good news is that we are able to continue expanding CoE territory. The bad news is that it might not matter as the Biomass continues to grow as well. As of yesterday the Biomass that originated in Egypt has connected with the west Russian growth. Frankly at this rate, Europe is fucked. Not including the Gibraltar Straight there is no way out of Europe easily accessible to civilians. The good news for Europe is that our Goodwill Campaign had some results, a Swedish faction opened up a base to us. We moved in the personal and equipment necessary to install a base transporter device. We have been evacuating as many people as we can, but it is clear we can not save everyone. The base is a week, maybe less, away from being overrun by Biomass. The logistics as well are impossible, we can't evacuate the entire remaining population of Europe through one base. We'll save every last life we can though.
Also noticeable in the top of the screen is a base in central Russia. This was the work of Bear Squad, who have taken the base, set up a transporter and are sending as many resources and people back as possible before the base is lost. The base is right in the middle of the two Russian Biomass growths, shown here.
Also visible is the complete loss of Japan as the Biomass stretches towards the base at Nordvik. For all the ground we have gained during the war, it seems we have only dealt the Reticulans a minor blow if their end goal was to terraform our entire planet. Even Antarctica has been covered in Biomass.
Some small measure of good news comes by way of Snake Squad, who have found and neutralized an alien base found near Peru. The report by Major Hunter states that since the Biomass started they have noticed a sharp increase in Reticulan UFO activity over South America but a heavy decrease in the amount of Cult activity and skirmishes. Something is going on down there that we aren't seeing.
During the last week we've reconfigured our bases to increase our production capabilities. We now have five bases dedicated to production and engineering. So far we've managed to replicate a suit of alien armor, refit for human use of course. We've also built some helmets designed to protect the wearer from psionic attacks. Some of the men are calling them tin foil hats from the old mind control conspiracy nut cases. Also in the armor department we're producing sets of enhanced combat armor. These offer the same great protection from projectile weapons and explosions and have been reinforced to withstand laser and plasma attacks. We're able to turn one complete suit out every 27 hours or so. We also secured two new suits of heavy armor which have been assigned to Hero as squad lead, and Fastball for heavy weapon operations, unless they decline for some reason. The plasma shotgun also has been completed and cleared for field use, this was also given to Fastball to replace his sawed off shotgun. We're currently working on a plasma rifle of our own, the trouble is making it a beam sort of weapon. Where as the Reticulan plasma weapon hurls a ball of magnetically contained plasma that more or less explodes on impact and covers everything nearby in plasma, we are trying to create a weapon that contains and projects a controlled burst of plasma accurately at a single target. We're working on a couple of methods to accomplish this. The first is the shotgun method, only it would need to be contained much better to have any sort of range. Another is to make a shell that holds the plasma and is fired more traditionally, and having the shell break apart on impact leaving the plasma to impact the target directly with minimal, if any, spray. Sort of like a paint ball gun.
While the weapons lab has been busy the research department has taken the time to clear some room out of the freezer locker. They've compiled a handful of autopsy reports, however a greater understanding of what is causing the dramatic mutations of the transgenants eludes them. I've included the autopsy summery reports here.
On to the squad itself, we've reached fifteen soldiers strong and I've decided to split up into two teams. After operating for two and a half months and only reaching this point I think it's time to assign some some form of rank to the soldiers now that we're able to field over ten squads ranging from six to fifteen men. While the CoE originally only bothered naming me Commander and some of the other company leaders as Major I think we've hit the point where a little more structure is required. Even though this is still all rather ad hoc, I am the closest thing the CoE has to a General of The Army so more or less my word is law for the armed forces of the CoE. I'll start working on a formal structure later, or appoint some people with pre-Nightfall military experience to draft something up. Anyway here is the current squad set up for Phoenix Company with appointed rank and current squad role.
Staff Sergent Booya - Squad leader
Corporal Golden - Scout
Specialist Vallhallan - Heavy weapons
PFC Ice7 - Light weapons.
Private Gulping - Experimental weapons
Corpsman Jimmy - Medic
Specialist Ackbar - Marksman
2nd Lieutenant Hero - Squad leader
Specialist Fastball - Heavy weapons
Corporal Rabbit - General Infantry / Close Quarters
PFC Panzer - General Infantry
PFC Teppec - General Infantry / Field tech
Private Fire Storm - Marksman
Corporal Canuck - Assault/Heavy weapons
Not assigned yet / Rotation
Private Sneaky - Stealth / Marksman
For right now, rank doesn't mean much except as a symbol of who has survived the longest and killed the most aliens. Booya and Hero were already the only ones yelling orders during missions, so this should be more of the same for people on the whole. I suppose if the war continues on long enough, I can see Booya or Hero commanding their own company in the future, or with some formal position in Earth's military once we rebuild things.
Now, for the real good news. After watching the Biomass slowly expand for days I realized that in a worst case scenario the Biomass would continue growing right across the Arctic Circle and wipe out everything we've gained so far. To prevent this I saw an opportunity to set up a base that could remain isolated from the Biomass.
Cape Verde. It is well off the coast of Africa and hopefully out of reach of the Biomass. We also have similar plans for The Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic. If we can set up bases on these islands in the ocean out reach from the Biomass then we will always have a fall back point no matter how much gets over run. Hero's squad was up first, given most of the enhanced combat armor available and sent out to secure Cape Verde.
Hero: Sweet, finally a mission somewhere nice and warm. About time, eh Canuck?
Robo-Canuck: IT JUST ISN'T THE SAME ANYMORE.
Rabbit: Poor guy. So what's the mission today?
Teppec: Sweep the area, then head into the town.
Fastball: So, I like these new squads. Got to be on the squad with the ladies.
Fire Storm: And the best looking guys, okayyyyy~
Panzer: I see something, Crabs!
Hero: We got crabs?
Hero: We got crabs!
Robo-Canuck: CRABS TERMINATED.
Teppec: Damn, Fastball and Canuck are lighting the place on fire.
Panzer: Gobber to the left!
Rabbit: Come on guys, try not to burn everything down.
Fastball: I make no promises.
Hero: Look out!
Fire Storm: Canuck just froze up.
Fire Storm: Never mind, there he goes.
Rabbit: What was wrong?
Robo-Canuck: BAD MEMORIES.
Fastball: Well, lucky one there, fat thing couldn't turn to face us.
Hero: Move up, keep your eyes open.
Panzer: What is this, a watermelon farm?
Teppec: They're cacti.
Panzer: Cacti? You're just making that up.
Teppec: It's the plural for cactus, dumbass.
Panzer: You're the plural for cactuses.
Rabbit: I see something through the trees, firing!
Fastball: Too much crap blocking my shot.
Robo-Canuck: HA HA HA, HOW DO YOU LIKE THE BURNING?
Hero: Okay, seriously Canuck. Did you become a pyro after being revived?
Robo-Canuck: I JUST REALLY LIKE THIS GUN.
Hero: Uh huh.
Rabbit: Well, that was easy.
Hero: Yeah, well lets move it on into the town.
Fire Storm: Crab fuuuuu~!
Rabbit: I see where this is going...
Robo-Canuck: HOW ABOUT ANOTHER CRAB ON THE BARBIE EH?
Rabbit: What? That's not Canadian, that's Australian.
Robo-Canuck: I DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOOT.
Panzer: Is it facing the wrong way?
Panzer: Ha, fat fuckers are harmless if you get them trapped like that.
Panzer: Well... less... deadly.
Rabbit: I think I see something... Crab!
Hero: Never thought a car could be used as camouflage so well.
Fire Storm: Got him. Not so dangerous at long ranges, are they?
Hero: Keep it moving. I see an underground entrance.
Panzer: Why can't they ever make a nice roomy lift to these things?
Fastball: How can you complain? It lets you get nice and close to the ladies...
Fire Storm: Fuuuuuu~!
Fastball: .... And Fire Storm.
Robo-Canuck: HOSTILE SPOTTED. PROCEEDING TO KILL IT WITH FIRE.
Robo-Canuck: CUDGEL SPOTTED.
Hero: Uh hey Canuck, let's let someone else take point.
Fastball: I'm up for it Hero. New shotgun to try out.
Hero: Do it.
Fastball: Morelman spotted, firing!
Fastball: What the hell was that?
Rabbit: Looked like a light show.
Fastball: Killed it dead though.
Hero: Well, good field test I guess, form up on the door.
Rabbit: On three. One, two, thr-FLY!
Rabbit: Shoot it!
Hero: Spitter too!
Rabbit: Well, that was fun.
Panzer: Redefining overkill.
Teppec: Yeah, that was a lot of firepower point blank.
Fire Storm: Another door ahead.
Hero: Form up, same drill.
Rabbit: One, two...three!
Teppec: One more in the hallway!
Rabbit: All over it.
Rabbit: And thats how it's done.
Hero: Nice and clean, everyone good?
Fire Storm: Good here.
Panzer: I'm okay.
Robo-Canuck: ALL SYSTEMS OPERATIONAL.
Fastball: Armors a bit battered, but I'm alright.
"The first mission under the new squads has gone well, clearing the islands and securing us a base for operations in the future. They also returned with no injuries, a great sign that our new armor is working to keep our soldiers alive. We still haven't given the alien armor a field test, but the lab tests suggest its on par with our light armor, and we're still working on a set of the orange colored armor.
Plans are being set up to turn Cape Verde into an independent base in case it is needed as a fall back point away from the Biomass. Until then it serves a good staging point for evacuating civilians out of the rest of Africa before it is covered completely.
And of course our armory is expanding, both from the weapons and armor we are manufacturing and the stores we have found from our new bases. Haggis has the latest numbers and count on our stores, and I've told the soldiers to give it a look at some of the new weapons and armor available. Obviously we're still a bit short on heavy and enhanced combat armor though.
All in all this has been a good week. Given another week like this we might have enough armor for everyone, and maybe a suit of a more advanced alien armor if someone feels like testing it. We're still at a loss for fighting the Biomass, but at least we have a fall back plan."
Posted by lilljonas 'Hero'
Personal Log of 2nd Lieutenant Megan "Hero" Okembo. March 12th.
The conflict is reaching a completely new level, and everyone and everything is affected by it. The rapid increase of this Biomass has made the slow and careful consolidation that we've been doing this far insufficient. Time if of the essence, and we have to be able to fight on a bigger scale than before.
The biggest effect for us soldiers is that Phoenix squad is slowly being bumped up into a platoon, and this week we split up properly in two squads for the first time. This was combined with an assignment of military grades throughout the organization. Yes, we're suddenly more like an army now than a small group of specialists. A small ceremony in the mess hall cemented this idea, and we got small token markings to add to our uniforms. Since I'm no longer just a replacement squad leader, this was a pretty big change for me, but I'll do my best to deserve my place as squad leader.
Our first mission with my squad was to secure a forward base in the Atlantic. The Biomass is quickly covering a lot of the land over there, so a base to both strike from and to aid any evacuation is important. The battle in itself went well. Having neither mind control rays, numbing cold nor the endless chatter of Golden and Val to tackle was a very pleasant change. Oh, I almost feel sorry for you, Booya, getting stuck with them. Preparing for any close quarter fighting we had filled up with incendiary ammunition, and it payed off well. Canuck set everything ablaze, and the rest of the squad quickly cut down what was left standing. While Booyas squad have fancy things like scouts and snipers, I think that an emphasis on heavy assault and rapid fire will give us the edge when it comes to confined areas such as bases and UFOs. The troopers showing at this mission confirmed that to me. They all did well, and we ended up without a scratch. Granted, these were not plasma-wielding aliens.
As for the squad, we'll have to assign someone as a medic. I'll see if we have any volunteers. Myself, I'm going to the armory to check if they have anything good for mid- to long range anti-infantry fire. It's tempting to go for these plasma shotguns they keep experimenting with, though... other than that, I'll just keep requesting as much heavy armor as I can. Then we can focus more on killing and less on dodging. But that's for later, now we have a couple of thousand pounds of fried crab meat, courtesy of Robo-Canuck. There's time for planning after the barbecue.
End of transmission
Posted by Dinictus 'Rabbit'
Personal Log of Raveena "Rabbit" Sen
March 12th, 13th Entry
I've been having the shivers since the commander's shown us the spread of what R&D dubbed the 'Biomass'. It looks like we may finally know why they rained death and decay upon us all those weeks ago. The scientists called it terraforming, like in those sci-fi novels my husband used to read. They're literally changing the world as we know it.
I've finally gotten to talk with Canuck again over the past days - he really hasn't changed all that much, despite the pale flesh and prosthetics and the metallic voice. Same ol' Canadian. I didn't much say it to his face, but I almost begged him to forgive me for being so apprehensive towards him after he has returned to us. ANd I don't think he told me, but something in his face told me he understood. Vina, meanwhile, is really crazy about Canuck now, being something of a 'Robocop'. Hell, she even calls him Robocop. She loved the cartoons.
We've returned from our assignment on the Cape Verdian isles. It's odd how the life on these isles has appropriately changed due to Nightfall - all those hermit crabs and such turned into these Car Crabs... if they weren't these psionic lightning batteries, they might be cute in a perverse way. At least they make for good barbecue meat. We haven't suffered much damage at all, and we all performed outstandingly well.
Besides this, one of the alien plasma rifles had died, not without spawning several more of its own kind. Vina was so sad when it was dead until the larva crawled out and one of the techies understood this was probably how the weapons propogated themselves in a semi-biological way. She's been all smiles since, taking care of the 'litter' like it's a batch of puppies. Meanwhile, I've been keeping tabs on the new weaponry in the armory. I might have to consider upgrading my shotgun to keep up with the rest of the crew. I'm still happy with my armanents, but you never know if something more efficient comes our way.
On a more grim note, I hope we can turn the tide against this spread of this Biomass-thing, because as far as it has spread so far now, I fear it won't take long for the rest of the globe to follow...
Posted by Gulping Again 'Gulping'
GulpLog: First entry
Well, everyone else is keeping up their logs, so I guess I should start one. The laser rifle that the brains upstairs engineered is a damn fine weapon, to be sure, but that plasma shotgun that Fastball's lugging around is looking like a lovely piece of hardware. Ah well, he's probably better with the bastard than I am. I'll be fine with the laser for now.
Anyway, I hear that they're making a new armor based on the alien designs. Now THAT sounds like my kind of thing. Should go ask Haggis to put in a good word for me. With the help I've been giving him, he owes me at least that much, what with me being the only one who will drink that stuff he brews up in the boiler room. Personally, I like the stuff. Keeps me focused.
Posted by seaborgium
Personal Log Entry 5, Bruce "seaborgium" Smith, Janitor for the Council of Earth,
Whiskey production is going well so far. Got a bit left on the aging process, but it should be drinkable soon.
As for shit that's been going on, everyone seems a bit more tense lately. New bases that didn't need janitors for some reason. Only thing I can think of is they are going to be overrun by that crazy shit I saw on the map. Told them to bring bleach, but noo...can't listen to the janitor.
Got some new armor too, apparently. Haggis keeps calling the coating they put on it "Stannum", but it looks like fucking tinfoil to me.
All these new people are causing all sorts of crap to clean up too. Keep having to setup new bunks and all, not so much fun. Should probably set up a to do list.
1. Clean bunk rooms 16 through 18.
2. Clean up autopsy room.
3. Yell at scientists to not leave moving parts in autopsy room. Seriously, how hard is it to pick up the parts when you're done? Blood I can understand, but that last one tried to fucking eat my mop.
4. Check on whiskey.
5. Clean crayon drawings off the wall down by the armory.
6. Find out who has crayons.
Posted by Forest Fuckery
Personal Log of Dietrich "Fuckery" Kast
Someone has coated my flight suit with tinfoil.
I mean, I didn't whine when I was shot down once a week. I didn't whine when they required me to shave and stick approximately 50 electrodes in my head every time I jumped in the cockpit. They have needles I might add. But fucking TINFOIL UNDERWEAR? The jokers can fly their own goddamn planes from now on. They can stick the goddamn clockwork canuck in there for as much as I care.
Mind control? My ass. If you ask me, "Mind control" isn't exactly the reason why the ground troops have so much friendly fire incidents. What a bunch of whack jobs. Our wing has been ordered to napalm the "biomass" growths. I really hope that it burns well.