Part 50Monday, May 22, 12:00
As we prepare for our next mission into the alien dimension, Strangleglove has more reports on new technologies he's discovered.
The alien cloaking field, as is the case with the personal shield, is useless for combat but makes for an effective stealth ship. Any craft wishing to covertly undergo a mission would do well do have a cloaking field equipped. "Welcome From Earf" will have one installed, and "We Come In Peace" will continue to be used as the main transport for our soldiers.
The alien city is almost all but destroyed and we haven't detected any new UFOs in many days. Only three buildings remain before we can shut down the dimension gates. It's a bit of a mystery as to why the aliens haven't turned them off themselves - keeping the gates on at this point is simply asking for destruction.
Wednesday, May 24, 20:00
We attempt to hire the best of the best soldiers. We've put them through extensive physical and psychological tests to ensure that they will perform their duties to the best of their abilities and follow the orders of their leaders. That is why whenever there is such a blatant violation of X-COM rules and regulations I become very angry. I am extremely disappointed with the actions of Chuck Charlie, Evil Astronaut, Jade and Koil. I've asked the soldiers involved with the incident to file reports, and I believe Redeker's tells the story the best.
From: Squad Leader Redeker, X-Com soldier
To: Director Otto Zander, X-Com Mega-Primus Operations
Date: May 24, 2084
Subject: Incident Report
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I must file this report. I want to state for the record that I do not condone the actions of myself and my fellow soldiers. I apologize for any breach of the rules and laws that have been layed down for us. Despite the outcome of the incident being positive, it does not excuse our actions. However I hope that you will understand I did what I did because I thought it the best course of action at the time, and because I felt that there was no other way to ensure the safety of X-COM soldiers and property.
I was taking a break from our training when I overheard a conversation between Chuck Charlie, Evil Astronaut, Jade and Koil. They did not know I was in the bathroom.
I overheard Chuck Charlie and Evil Astronaut complaining about their recent punishments for disrespecting a superior officer. I remember their words.
Chuck Charlie: Man, you know what they have me doing? Pressure washing Welcome From Earf. What do they have you doing Astronaut?
Evil Astronaut: I WAS FORCED TO PERFORM SERVICE ON SOUP-BOT.
Koil: What did you guys do again?
Jade: Chuckie bitched out Mindfish for kill stealing, and Astronaut disobeyed Dini's orders.
Chuck Charlie: Oh fuck off, you goodie-two-shoes. Jade, you should be lucky YOU didn't get assigned to Mindfish's squad. It's impossible to get ahead being on that guy's team. The vets keep getting all the benefits, and us rookies get dumped on. After I'm done cleaning the ship they want me to polish Dini's new weapons.
Jade: Hey, you two should be grateful they didn't fire you. They told you about Willie Tomg, right?
Chuck Charlie: That's the exact same thing that's happening to us! We don't get a chance to prove our talents, and we'll get fired because of it! This sucks.
Hey guys...I have an idea. I saw the tech geeks install something on Welcome From Earf yesterday, some kind of cloaking device. Suppose we used that to sneak away undetected and destroy the next alien building by ourselves? We'd get all the credit for once!
Koil: Are you insane? You'll get killed.
Chuck Charlie: With our massive arsenal? Please. The micronoids are almost defeated anyway. We take the ship, go into the alien dimension, enter the building, fire a couple C-rounds into the helpless aliens and return as heroes! It'll be as easy as eating pancakes.
Jade: That's a really bad idea. Do you have any idea how much trouble you'll get in?
Chuck Charlie: They'll forgive us once we destroy the building! They won't even notice the ship's gone until long after we leave. Astronaut, do you want to keep polishing off Soup-Bot's frame? Don't you want some glory?
Evil Astronaut: IT WOULD BE AN APPRECIATED CHANGE OF PACE.
Chuck Charlie: Great! Let's go right now!
Koil: No way, you're not stealing the ship and getting yourself killed!
Jade: Well he does....I mean we could....it, uh....
Chuck spent the next several minutes convincing Koil and Jade to join him. They eventually agreed, though reluctantly.
I followed them into the vehicle bay. I did not have my radio on me, and they would have left before I could call for assistance. I figured the best course of action was to quickly get aboard the ship and try to talk them out of it. Unfortunately they locked the doors to the cockpit and passenger module, so I had to stow away in the alien containment unit.
As I later saw from the security cameras, the cloaking field worked flawlessly, and the ship was launched without detection.
I felt a dimension shift and then we landed. I got out of the containment unit only to find that the four of them had already entered the structure ahead of me. I grabbed a spare radio from the ship and quickly followed. The radio transmissions as I remember them are as follows.
Jade: Whoa, whoa, this was a really bad idea. Talking big inside the base is one thing, but now that we're actually here...
Chuck Charlie: Don't tell me you're getting scared now! We have a job to do. If we go back to the base now they'll court martial us for sure. Keep focused, and stay in contact with each other on the radio. We'll search and....hey, what's this? Why am I broadcasting on channel six?
Evil Astronaut: I AM RECEIVING THE IDENTIFICATION SIGNAL FROM SIX X-COM TRANSMISSION DEVICES.
Chuck Charlie: Six? There's only four of us! Where are the other two coming from?
Chuck Charlie: YOU! BEHIND THE PLANT! IDENTIFY YOURSELF.
I was of course the fifth signal, and I figured this sixth member must be the last missing soldier, Striker. I kept quiet on my radio and quickly reached the position of the four soldiers. I did not want to reveal my presence yet, so I hid just out of view and listened in.
Striker: Please lower your weapons, I mean you no harm. I'm here to offer a resolution to our problem.
Chuck Charlie: Striker, what the hell are you talking about?
Jade: Look at him, he's covered in micronoids....
Striker: I'm afraid that in order to facilitate communications, we had to take over function of this body. I am, as you call it, "brainsucked".
Everyone became really freaked out at this point. We've never known brainsucked soldiers to be talkative and non-violent. Everyone kept their weapons ready in case this was a trap, or in case Striker tried to explode like a popper.
Chuck Charlie: What the hell?! Why aren't you trying to kill us?
Striker: Circumstances have changed. We know that you know all about us now, and there is no reason to continue with our charade.
Chuck Charlie: Well, what the hell do you want?
Striker: We wish to discuss and end to our hostilities. We can afford no more losses to your forces, and wish peaceful resolution to our problems, or else.
Chuck Charlie: Or else what?
Striker: We have a weapon that we can sent into your dimension that carries a large quantity of anti-matter. The resulting explosion would destroy most of your continent. We have no desire to use this weapon, but we will if you do not stop your hostile actions against us. The previous buildings you've destroyed can be rebuilt, but we cannot lose this one. A line must be drawn here. No further.
Chuck Charlie: If you don't want us destroying your buildings, why don't you shut down the dimension gates?
Striker: The dimension gates cannot be shut down, otherwise we would have done so already. Here is what we propose. We will provide X-COM with the specifications to build a device that when activated in sufficient numbers can transfer an entire planet between dimensions. Build these devices and send any habitable planet from your galaxy into our dimension. Do this, and then we will not be forced to retaliate and destroy your world.
Chuck Charlie: Uh...okay, I suppose that sounds reasonable. Maybe we can...
While Chuck and Striker were discussing things, I was probing Striker's mind with my mind bender. Hybrids cannot normally read the minds of micronoids, but I was able to read Striker's thoughts and thus those of the micronoids. I could confirm some of the things the he said, mainly, that this building was important and irreplaceable. They can't shut down the dimension gates without destroying their entire city. They do need a new habitable planet, but they only want it so they can regrow their empire and continue launching attacks against us. This stab at diplomacy was a last-ditch effort from a dying empire.
I could also confirm that they have no such weapon to use in retaliation against us. So I turned the corner, yelled for everyone to get back and filled Striker with C-Toxin.
It looks like Striker was poppified in case his attempt at diplomacy failed, and he exploded. Our men were mostly able to get away in time, but some of them lost half of their personal shielding.
I went in and confirmed Striker's death, and explained everything to the four soldiers.
This was when I compounded the error that Chuck Charlie made. I knew from my mind probe that this building was very important, and that we had an opportunity right here, right now, to deal a fatal blow to the aliens. If we left they would know that their last hope had failed and reinforced this position. If we attacked now, we might catch them off guard and destroy whatever important target they were protecting.
After dealing with some Anthropods, we saw an enourmous cavern in front of us.
We could already see some Psimorphs exiting from inside. These must have been the Psimorphs we were expecting inside the control chamber.
Koil set up position and fired round after round of toxin into the structure.
Evil Astronaut delivered some heavy firepower deep inside the cavern.
There were large numbers of Megaspawn, Psimorphs and Skeletoids inside.
Jade reported feeling a little funny and blanked out, so we focused on the Psimorphs until they were all dead. Jade quickly recovered.
Jade then felled the last remaining megaspawn.
Chuck Charlie entered the cavern and radioed his amazement at what he saw.
There was no doubt about it, this was some kind of egg-laying alien queen. If this queen was the source of all the macroscopic aliens, its death would doom the aliens. With no more eggs, and the inability to grow another queen, the aliens would eventually all die off.
The queen's defense was laughable. A variation of multiworm spit, the attack was easily dodged. The queen apparently relied on the other creatures to protect it from attacks.
There was some kind of energy curtain that protected us from this queen spit, so I ordered all our soldiers to hide behind it.
Seizing our opportunity I stepped forward, aimed my toxigun...
And hesitated. Killing this queen would be committing genocide. Despite the fact that they are our enemy, I couldn't help but sympathize with it. Being a hybrid I know what it's like to have people think of you as the enemy, and to know that some of them want to wipe you out. I decided I couldn't judge these creatures the same way that humans judged sectoids.
Standing in front of the queen, I reached out to it with my mind. It was afraid. IT WAS AFRAID! I couldn't bring myself to kill it. I threw my stun grenades instead.
This wasn't enough, so I ordered Chuck to stun it with his stun grapple.
He did so.
The queen thumped to the floor and began drooling. It was unconscious. It took all our effort, but we were able to drag it back to the ship, and then the whole building began shaking.
As I stated before, even though the results of our actions turned out to be positive, I cannot condone our actions themselves. I submit myself to whatever appropriate punishment you feel is necessary. If I could have done something to prevent Chuck Charlie from leaving the base in the first place I would have. And on a personal note, I apologize if any us have let you down.
Squad Leader Redeker
I'm very torn as to how I want to deal with Redeker, Chuck Charlie and the rest. I'm very angry on one hand that Chuck convinced the others to go on this dangerous mission without support, but I'm also incredibly impressed with the outcome. Redeker will be commended for his actions which I feel were appropriate under the circumstances. Chuck Charlie, Evil Astronaut, Jade and Koil will be temporarily taken off active duty pending further notice.
The news of this incident greatly surprised the rest of our soldiers, who were in a mission briefing at the time that Chuck commandeered Welcome From Earf.
We've changed policy so all ship launches can now only occur with my security authorization. First Tynam and now Chuck Charlie were able to take one of our ships and use it for their own ends. The new security procedure will prevent any further incidents like these from happening with our craft.
There is one last matter to discuss. I went down to the containment unit in Evening Star to witness the transfer to Coolswa's Pad, and I can't help but feel very uncomfortable with its presence. I do not know what we are going to do with our recent acquision, or rather, what we should do.
Having this creature alive in our care frightens me.
MEANWHILE, IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE WHERE WE NEVER HAD THE CULT OF SIRIUS JOIN US AS ALLIES SINCE I DIDN'T PLAN ON THAT BUT I DID PLAN ON USING THIS LAME-ASS JOKE
Some Cool Guy posted:
He already referenced Starship Troopers, what makes you think he won't do Independence Day next?
Dr. Strangleglove: Vee have ziz new heavy dizruptor beam! Lets go to zee veapon testing range!
Dr. Strangleglove: Vee have reached zee position. FIRE ZEE LAZER!