Part 17: Update/Video 17
X-COM believes they have won the war.
They've succeeded in destroying many of our artefact sites. They've located and destroyed our colonies. Countless generations of our kind were birthed, grown and eventually in combat against the human forces. Most of them now lie splayed out over a medical table, a grotesquery for the humans to gawk at.
We've developed powerful weapons in this war, weapons the humans ended up capturing and using for their own purposes. We had sonic weapons that could gelatinize bone, shok launchers that flash froze living tissues, and recently the disruptor pulse launcher, able to deliver pin-point accuracy explosions, shredding anything within its vast radius.
Now that we're at the end, I have to ask - was it all worth it? Why did they have to fight us? Could we have resolved our differences peacefully? I believe we could have, if it were not for one man:
The leader of the X-COM project has a storied history. He began as a rank-and-file soldier in the humans' war against the Ethereals. His skill and dedication in slaughtering aliens allowed him to rise to the top ranks of X-COM. It was he who faced a Sectoid hive mind on Mars - and chose to murder it. He returned to Earth as a hero the likes of which the people of this planet have never seen. To them, he bravely and heroically put everything on the line to save humanity. He was thought to be courageous to be the first to set foot on a new planet, he was daring to face a powerful psionic entity, and possessed the moral fiber to make a split second decision to extinguish the life of a being that was at war with his species.
But you know what the truth is?
Otto Zander is a coward. A xenophobic coward.
Deep down he knew that the offer the hive mind extended him was genuine - give them human DNA samples and they would end the war, and help humanity rebuild to fight the true threat - the Ethereals. But Zander blasted it instead. He was afraid. Afraid that humans would no longer be the supreme being on their planet. Afraid to lose some of his newfound power. Afraid of change. But mostly he was afraid of aliens. He believes humans and their creations are divinely created by their God, and special in the cosmos. He believes it is his right to kill as many aliens as he can, even though he knows not all aliens are hostile. It is an ignorant view at best, blatant racism at worst. He keeps these thoughts to himself of course. It's these views that made him the perfect soldier to win a war, though he's the worst choice to maintain a peace. It's a viewpoint that's going to end him some day. Should Zander ever be faced with another decision like that he faced on Mars, I'm certain he'll make the wrong choice, and either condemn another alien race to die, or let a different group of humans and their creations defeat him.
I know this because I've seen into his mind. My powers have nearly fully returned. Despite the best efforts of X-COM, I have awakened almost fully. I am cogniscent of the whole world and all its people. I can't force them to stop their war, but I can read them, and I can slow X-COM down. It is time to raise our great colony ship T'leth from the ocean floor. This action will of course attract X-COM attention, but I am prepared. I cannot use my MC and psionic powers to stop the people, but I can stop their equipment. With a mere thought, I have just rendered all Zrbite outside of T'leth inert. The humans will be quick to learn that without molecular control, Zrbite is mostly just a worthless lump of gold. Their fancy captured weapons will no longer work. Their powerful armors, stopped dead in their tracks. They might be able to fashion an elerium-based replacement fuel for their fighter submarines, but that will afford them maybe one attack on our city. We are prepared. They are outnumbered, outgunned and outclassed.
We're not going to fail. This is and always was our planet. If we can't have our piece of it, no one can. Should T'leth now be destroyed, the explosion will send all of our cloning-related biochemical stores airborne. This is our failsafe; the humans call it 'scorched earth'. If we can't have it, no one can. Zander knows this. Will he still choose to destroy us? To cut off his nose to spite his face? Our two sides will either come together in peace today, or we will both be destroyed.
The T'leth Variety Hour
YouTube starts here
Music: Knights of Cydonia Instrumental by Muse, and by Nine Inch Nails: Dead Souls; Right Where It Belongs Remix; Ringfinger Remix; Hyperpower!; The Beginning of the End; Vessel; Me, I'm Not, The Warning, The Great Destroyer Remix, In This Twilight Remix, Zero Sum
X-COM Soldiers attending: crucialityfactor, StringofLetters, Bluemage, Febreze, Tor, Shark Mafia, kDanthe, PantslessScot, Doc William Hat, Pumpkinreaper, Cormack, Zoinker, Engineman 1st Class, Corp. Monty Cain, Dr. Doctor, Y-Hat, Dulkor, Jeremiah Allen, Rhumbus, Sarge Nytell, Char T. Iron, Magni, Randomosity, RaffyTaffy, Vlad Antlerkov, and Drewjitsu.