Part 9: Chapters 9 & 10 - X-COM SOLDIER BRIEFING for January 31 - SQUADDIE CLEARANCE LEVEL
Chapters 9 & 10 - X-COM SOLDIER BRIEFING for January 31 - SQUADDIE CLEARANCE LEVEL
We have received numerous complaints about the accuracy and firepower of the standard issue X-COM laser pistol. After reviewing your criticisms, we are proud to introduce that weapon's successor.
The X-COM Laser rifle is more powerful than any of our non-explosive weaponry due to added battery packs.. Requiring the use of two hands, it is much more accurate in the hands of a soldier. However treat the weapon well, as it requires recovered alien technology to operate. Should our supply of elerium run out, we will be unable to reproduce this weapon.
With month end approaching, we have some good news.
All of X-COM's funding nations are pleased with our progress and have increased our funding. The lack of any alien ships in the past two weeks has proven our ability to defend the planet. It is our hope that the aliens are now too afraid to continue with whatever plans they have for us.
Upon analyzing the location of all UFO sightings, we notice that the bulk of all reported sightings occurred in the coastal regions of China and India; not surprising, as these are two of the most densely populated regions in the word. It's a bit strange though that the aliens would be conducting their own operations in these areas as they, like X-COM, seem to wish to conduct covert actions and stay away from the public's eyes. Having Canada come in at third place in UFO activity is a bit of a mystery to which we have no answer. However, with any luck we won't be seeing any more alien incursions anywhere!
FOR THE EYES OF OTTO ZANDER ONLY
Congratulations on your recent promotion, soldier! You have proven yourself to command, and in return we entrust in you greater security clearance. Once again I am forced to remind you that the punishment for breaching security is harsh.
On your last mission, soldier Blackray was able to capture alive the first hostile Sectoid. Interrogations will proceed ASAP. For now, all we know is that the Sectoid captured claims he is the ship's navigator, and he's not saying much else except for prayers to his God about his own safety. We will attempt to extract as much information from him as possible, but things are slow going due to the language barrier. The method of communication with the aliens is...unique. Also classified at this clearance level.
At the "Squaddie" level, you have been cleared for knowledge we have kept from the rookie soldiers. As we had told you before, examination of all Sectoid bodies recovered has revealed that Sectoids are most likely a genetically engineered species. What we kept from you is that Sectoid DNA is 98% identical to human DNA. This means humans are more closely related genetically to Sectoids than to chimpanzees. There is no possible natural way to account for this genetic similarity. All we know for sure is that the relationship between Sectoids and humans is much more complicated than we ever imagined. There's a little bit more to the story than we are telling you, but it remains classified. Capture of live aliens remains a high priority until we learn the real reason for the alien's incursions to Earth.
One question you may have been asking yourself is "why me? Why is X-COM so interested in me?" The answer lies in a piece of technology recovered alongside Allen at the end of 1998. Do you remember the "Cobra VII test" we administered to you back in Austria? This was the device we used in that test.
It's called a "Mind Probe" as a bit of a in-joke amongst our scientists. What is does is scan and analyze the physical and mental properties of a soldier and return the results. Gerhard scored in the top 1% of all soldiers tested. Being his brother, you too have scored in the top 1% of all who have ever taken the test. Know that you have a great potential to become an excellent soldier, more than anyone currently on the roster.
X-COM Head Scientist,
Dr. Reis Markus
Chapter 10: The Calm Before...
: The next two weeks were bliss. There was one UFO sighting in all that time worldwide...
: Those very small ships always blew up so nicely.
Time passed by and we didn't have any worries. Sugary was put back on active duty, and I was starting to become friends with my fellow soldiers. We were all given the new laser rifle, as well as a fancy new headgear setup. Apparently in addition to the flying cameras launched at the start of missions we each were given a small cam that wrapped around our head. Now those back in base had both a birds-eye and soldier view of the battles. Getting paid was nice too.
On the 31st we watched a boring presentation on-base about the previous month's UFO activity. This Dr. Markus was talking out of his ass about how he though the aliens were targeting Europe and Central Asia since that was the biggest landmass and highly populated, and the "logical" place for the aliens to explore first. He told us how X-COM believed the aliens might be pulling back since we had proven ourselves able to take down and capture their ships. The guy never stopped to consider that the aliens might be changing tactics. After the briefing I think I got one hour of sleep before the alert came - Before the entire face of the war was flipped on its head.
SELECTED FAN ENTRIES BELOW
You know that video of Metallica's "One", where the soldier asks to die after being blown up a whole lot?
Of course, there are some good side effects to undeath.
This chick seems to dig me.
Diary of L. Takakumi, 2/1/99, Entry 7
Quack. Charlatan, Interloper, and a million degrees of idiot. However that blustering mindless fungus ever became command of the science division here, I will never know.
Seriously, a 'Mind Probe'?! What kind of nonsense is that? There's nothing remotely scientific about it - Given the aliens have already demonstrated immense stupidity in that, despite their ability to travel at the very least interplanetary distances, they nonetheless run around without armor on.
I've already figured we do that because we have the bodies. So what reason have they? It's sheer madness, ergot, they simply got lucky in one or two areas, and all of this probing nonsense is just a way to make the grunts feel better.
And of course, if they want to do that, I could think of any number of better ways to increase morale.
On the other hand, it does seem like he is beginning to develop a slight eye twitch. I've cut down on the E-115 shavings in the coffee for the moment and merely keep dropping subtle hints to sick bay that the stress may be getting to him.
I'm concerned about Ms. Cuddles once again. It seems that in her wanderings she may have become exposed to one too many substances whose effect on kitties, is well, unknown. Her personality is no different, she's as lovable as always, but I keep getting the strangest feeling that she's increasingly studying what I'm doing. It's as if she's somehow learning.
I wonder if I can teach her to play chess.
Playing log - Private Dominic "Terashell" Maxwell - January 17th, 1999, XCOM Facility Early Light
Had another UFO hunt today. Went... a little better than the last few. Pander18 bit it again... I'm still not sure what happened there. Then again, we are dealing with aliens, I'm not going to be surprised if there's some sort of fucked up time-space bullshit going on.
I'm glad Eddy's feeling better. He still seems a little off, but, as long he's got his head straight on missions, that's all that matters to me. I'm going to go see if he wants some of this whiskey before I finish it off...
Playing next log - January 26th, 1999, XCOM Facility Early Light
It's been quiet for a while now. I'm starting to think those fuckers finally got it into their heads that Earth isn't the juicy target they thought and got the fuck out. Spent the last few days on the range getting used to the laser rifles we got in. Pretty spiffy. Like the pistol only better range. Hey, fuck off, Chuck, the sights were misaligned, I'm sure I can hit shit from half a football field again.
Oh, you don't think I can? Wanna put it to a bet? The rest of my whiskey to your scotch?
Meet me topside and bring a quarter.
Playing next log - February 1st, 1999, XCOM Facility Early Light
Just got the alert, the biggest fucking ship we've seen yet is coming in. We're going to get called out to it when it lands.
I've got a bad feeling about this op. The whiskey and scotch are under the third panel from the head of my bed.