Part 45We're losing a lot of hope for Tynam. His journal entries are becoming increasing disjointed and erractic, and we believe the damage to his mind is spreading faster than we anticipated. He's spending almost all his time alone, imagining himself in the middle of the Frontier war. Right now, he believes he's at the part of the Frontier war just after X-COM received the first alien message.
So we know that alien freighters are flying into black holes for some reason, so we started scanning for the hyperspace signature of alien freighters. It didn't take long to find one.
I was sent out in More Gravitas to investigate.
The psionic holo-recorders have been checked and double-checked, and no problems found. The poor quality and loss of parts of the image as in the above are due to Tynam's increasing brain damage, and are unavoidable.
Looks like an alien tug is towing some massive piece of equipment. My wingman and I are going to kick some ass and steal that part!
I flew in and used my tractor beam to disable the tug.
The tug is small, and has no weapons.
With no means to capture the freighter yet, I shot it down.
My plasma cannon blew away an entire section of the ship! Awesome!
I turned around only to see that my wingman Terminator destroyed the tug. Didn't he know we're supposed to capture alien stuff instead of destroying it if possible?
Without the tug, I had to tow this huge thing myself.
It's a bit of a strain on the engine.
But I was able to take it into hyperspace.
Wow, is this wrong. The huge pieces of alien equipment where always far too large for one ship to tow by itself. Capturing these pieces took entire squadrons of craft armed with tractors to simply move at all. Tynam's making this operation seem trivially easy in comparison.
There were some escorts we destroyed, and it turns out that those ships had a couple of new interesting pieces of technology aboard them. We should probably research those.
And now we can! Even faster than before! With the new comlinks we can download data twenty percent faster.
This alien piece sure looks important, but we need to outfit our ships with better stuff before figuring out what's going on.
This Tachyon Pulsar looks like a weapon that can disable large craft without damaging them. I can't wait to get one of these on my ship so I can disable things by shooting at them!
Aw, poor hybrids want freedom? Too bad. I like to shoot sectoids.
New base! Coolswa's Bachelor Pad goes online.
The new hyper-com downlinks are installed. We can't replace standard comlinks with the advanced ones without removing the old ones entirely. Evening Star will keep downloading information using standard comlinks to keep the flow of information up.
Terminator and I transferred to this new base. We know there is an alien mining outpost in a nearby system, and from this new base we should have the range to attack it.
With a new base, more companies are taking the risk of mining in the Frontier, safe in the knowledge that X-COM is going to protect them.
On one of the many dozen or so dogfights against squadrons, we noticed that the aliens were using a new class of ship - the spectre.
They're still pretty easy to disable with the tractor, but are noticeably tougher than the wraith class.
The spectre had all kinds of new goodies on it. New torpedoes, drive and targeting systems. We'll be spending a long time downloading all the information out of those.
Hey, I got my tachyon pulsar!
Now we look for a weakness in the new type of alien ship.
So we detected ANOTHER freighter. This one was different though.
I'VE GOT A TACHYON PULSAR! We captured the same large piece of something that we did before, but the freighter escaped us.
Terminator and I finally were sent to destroy the alien outposts in a nearby system when we got this news. I don't know about this "Cult of Sirius", they sound like bad news. I saw the autopsy video they claim to have, but it doesn't look all that real. The surgeons are holding their cutting tools all wrong, and the whole film is of poor quality and grainy. Especially around the alien's crotch for some reason.
NOOO!!!! Looks like we have to build another new base even closer to the alien outpost to be able to destroy it. "Tynam's Pad" now under construction!
Pirates! They fly around in ships similar to our, and they must have a base somewhere nearby. We detected a group of pirate ships, and I was sent to deal with them.
On route, Coolswa's Pad finished contruction of its comlinks, and started to download the data from the large piece of something we captured.
Let's kick some pirate ass!
The pirates have cooler looking ships than we do.
But they don't have any gravitas! I tried to get X-COM to let me use the pirate ship for myself and refit it with a tractor beam, but the disabled pirate ship always disappears once I get it back to base.
Our scans soon found the pirate base. They're not hiding themselves very well by being in the middle of every shipping lane there is.
On route to destroy the base, we downloaded all the information about the type-2 UFO. They say the Spectre is comparable to the Firestar, but what the heck is a Firestar?
After that, we started downloading the specs to get even faster download speeds.
Finally, the pirate base!
Aw crap, not this again. The entire base is at negative zero kilometers and nowhere to be found. Alt-tilde to the rescue!
Again with this Alt-~ nonsense. What is he talking about? Is this some kind of weapon that Tynam's not giving us the details about?
New month, new companies. I don't like the sound of this "Transtellar" company though. They sound like enormous pricks.
So it appears that the piece from the freighter convoy I recovered was a two-hundred kilometer long piece of a much larger....something. I guess I'll have to keep dragging these huge pieces back to the base so we can put them together and build our own huge space station. Man, how much would that rock!
You know how I feel about gravitas. This alien drive system is vastly superior to our own drive. I can't wait to download this one!
But I'll have to wait. We're told that alien messages get top priority, so we'll have to change our download to this new alien message.
Man this sucks. You'd think that someone somewhere would develop a download scheme to send a huge number of tiny sections or portions of a file in a huge wave, or deluge, to a receiver. That way you wouldn't have to restart a download from the start if there's a problem. I guess we're simply not advanced enough in this year of 2067 to develop this technology. Sigh.
Another freighter and tug towing that huge piece of something. But this time, the freighter isn't going anywhere.
More goodies to fill our stores with!
Oh, well I guess I'll have to change my mind about the hybrids, er, uh...Sectohumes. I guess they're pretty cool and I suddenly wouldn't mind dying for them.
Oh fuck yes.
And my pad will be the first one with microbit compression hyper comlink downloads.
WARNING - FOURTY THOUSAND TERAQUAD FILE:
They tell me that the aliens are staging a massive fleet near a black hole. No one knows why they're doing this, or what they're saying. We've never actually been able to translate the aliens' verbal language; we've always relied on psionics. With no aliens around to psionically translate this message for us, it looks like we're going to have to find some way to decode their language.
This was an important part of our relationship with the sectoids and the Ethereal Empire. These transmissions were our first step in learning their language and opening up the possibility of diplomacy and negotiation.
Now we have three bases to download information. Soon we'll have a computer than can repair our ships by itself, better lasers, and then we'll finally be able to learn the mysteries of solar fusion. For countless years, humans have looked up to the stars and wondered what made them burn. Coal? Natural gas? Released gravitational binding energy? Turns out it's none of these. It's some called solar "fusion" and for the first time, humanity will learn about this "fusion" process and how it works. This fundamental mystery will finally be solved!
Ugh, I don't know why I bother trying to make sense of this sometimes.