Part 13: Unidentified Floating Objects
Chapter 14: Unidentified Floating Objects
Zander, Getao, Keyboard Fox, Sugary, Mr. Peepers, The Raz, Loden Taylor, Ice
Phisherman, Broose, Terashell attending
Terashell: All right look guys. Now that I'm the leader of this squad things are going to be different. Normally I wouldn't care if you saluted me, but any of you grunts salute me out here I will shoot you myself. I am not "Captain" out here, nor am I "Sir," I'm Terashell or Tera if you need to be quick. I just got back from a stay in medical and I'd rather not get shot again because one of those alien bastards realized I was a ranking officer, got it?
Otto Zander, Getao, Keyboard Fox, Sugary, Mr. Peepers, Loden
Terashell: You motherfuckers.
Terashell: Make ME have to kill everything just to save my own ass. Fine. Whatever. You're all going to die and we're going to leave you here to rot. I never liked any of you anyw...
Getao: Hey, don't worry, we'll help out a bit!
: Shortly after we landed, an explosion rang out from above a building we landed in front of.
: Our best guess was that the aliens tried to throw a grenade over the building and missed. We're lucky they did.
Keyboard Fox: You heard that Zander? Something on the roof, and I have another Sectoid spotted.
Otto Zander: I have you covered.
Terashell:...that guy in high school, Bob I think, he hated me too. This thing in the shadows, I think it's an alien, whatever, I'm killing it. It probably wouldn't follow any of my orders either. If any of YOU jerks ever find yourself in a position of authority I hope you...
The Raz: SHUT UP Terashell, we have a bit of a problem. There's two Sectoids in the street.
The Raz: The real worry is that just north of them appears to be a-
The Raz: HURRRRRGGHHH!
Sugary: Raz! Damn. What did he see over-
Sugary: Oh hell, we have a problem. There's some kind of mini-UFO here.
Sugary: Direct hit, yeah!
Sugary: OH HELL we have a real problem here! I hit that thing three times and it's still floating!
Sugary: No it's not! We just dug it a foxhole!
Loden Taylor: Lasers don't seem to have any effect either. Are we boned?
Waddle Dee: Everyone in the area, direct all fire on the enemy UFO!
Keyboard Fox: Otto, the area over here looks clear, let's meet up with the rest of the guys.
Otto Zander: You okay sir?
Civilian: ¿Quiénes son usted? ¿Cuál es ese hombre gris? ¿Qué está sucediendo aquí?
Otto Zander: Good to hear it!
Mr. Peepers: That last Sectoid is down. Where did the floaty disk go?
Mr. Peepers: Wait, more Sectoids!
Otto Zander: You see that Fox?
Keyboard Fox: Yeah, I see him. What's that weapon it's holding? Never seen that before.
Keyboard Fox: Let's take a look see.
Keyboard Fox: Any guesses?
Otto Zander: No clue. We still don't know how most of their stuff works, or even what it does, and the techs have had two months to look over everything.
Getao: I've reacquired the UFO.
Getao: *sigh* There's another one too.
Loden Taylor: Look at that! It's stopped floating!
Loden Taylor: Jesus Christ! That thing blew up! That explosion was huge?
Getao: Maybe that's what those things are? Giant flying bombs? They haven't shot at us yet or anything.
Getao: I JUST HAVE TO OPEN MY FUCKING MOUTH.
Loden Taylor: You okay? Talk to me!
Getao: I just need....lay down...
Loden Taylor: GRRRAAAAAH DIE YOU STUPID DISKS!
Otto Zander: Loden, you're saying lasers can take these things down? I'm in a bit of a bind.
Otto Zander: Cancel that, lasers do work!
: Keyboard Fox and I had a good thing going this mission. The two of us had headed off away from the main group and had racked up a couple of kills. We were working well together.
: Poor guy was decapitated going around the corner of this house. There was nothing left of his head.
: Broose was next. The guy was lugging around the rocket launcher all mission and never got a chance to use it.
: Phisherman took it right after that. The last two Sectoids remaining killed three guys.
Terashell: ..well NO MORE. You cockholes will LISTEN TO ME FROM NOW ON. Watch me kill this guy!
Terashell: And this guy! That's LEADING BY EXAMPLE, try to learn something for once and stop fucking around.
Sugary: Have you been ranting this whole time Tera - I mean Sir?
Terashell: YES GODDAMMIT.
Loden Taylor: Whoa, hold on, you guys hear that?
Otto Zander: I don't hear anything.
Loden Taylor: I think we did it. The aliens, they're all dead!
Terashell: ...really? Huh, wow. Good work men!
Getao, Keyboard Fox, Mr. Peepers, The Raz, Ice Phiserman, Broose
SELECTED FAN ENTRIES BELOW
After Action Report - Captain Dominic "Terashell" Maxwell - February 24th, 1999 - Terror
Missionin Buenos Aires
Missionto was both a success and a failure. We succeeded in eliminating the alien threat, but at a substantial loss of life, both civilian and XCOM team members attending. Casualties included several rookies and veteran members. I suggest a stricter training regime for raw recruits before putting them in the squad rotation. I am glad to see progress being made on armor and medical supplies for use in the field, as that will increase survivability. Buenos Aires
I would like to put forward that Waddle
Deereceive a commendation and, if possible, a promotion for his efforts. He is usually the first off the ship, and is constantly in the fray, saving other team members, and providing a substantial punch with his main guns. There are several instances in which I, and other members of the team, were saved by his efforts. We owe him our lives.
We recovered several alien artifacts which were placed in quarantine until the science personnel have a chance to look at them. We burned several of the alien corpses, but did bring eight back to base for further study. The civilians present were debriefed before returning to base.
Missiontime was approximately 12 hours given travel time.
Playing Log - Captain Dominic "Terashell" Maxwell - February 25th, 1999 - XCOM Facility Early Light
Jesus fuck. My first mission back was another goddamn terror mission. And those assholes in my squad didn't hear a word I said, apparently. I'd be more pissed off if I didn't have this sneaking suspicion that they were fucking with me.
I'm running low on whiskey, after that. I've got another bottle... bottle and a half left, but I'm a captain now, I should be able to get off base once in a while... If not, I'm sure there are other avenues of getting shit.
The flight there was not pleasant on my ass, given that those planes vibrate like an overloaded washing machine sometimes. I can sit, but just not for long.
Had to fill out my first report to the brass now that I'm leading a squad. That was fun. Hard to not to swear at those fuckers... Hopefully once the armor and medkits the eggheads are working on hit the field, i won't be reporting anymore casualties for a while.
Diary of Lily Takakumi, 2/25/99
Belated note to self : When delivering get-well cards, do not write them out in the middle of the dissection lab.
Compiled Research Notes, L. Takakumi, 2/99
This last month has been hectic. Things started out slow, but eventually all recognized how wise investment in laser weaponry would be, just as suggested from the start. I imagine it would be possible to further strengthen the beam, perhaps even to the point of being usable as an airborne weapon, but it would rapidly lose power over a short distance comparative to the missiles we possess - The beam simply decays in integrity too fast to maintain cohesion over greater distances.
Furthermore, attempting to develop the hand weaponry to be more powerful would appear to come at a greater loss in accuracy and handling capability. It would simply be much bulkier, yet at the same time more vulnerable to minute muscle twitches deflecting the beam by a wide margin. Unfortunate, but as will be noted later, I have already found a new avenue which may render laser weaponry itself obsolete.
However, I am feeling rather torn on what direction would best serve our research efforts. On one hand, extraterrestrial primary weaponry is considerably stronger than our laser rifles. Having access to what appears to be concentrated plasma would yield powerful results, particularly if we could then engineer it as aircraft weaponry - Due to plasma being a 4th matter state, rather than simply concentrated energy, it is far less vulnerable to the dissipation effect that would prohibit laser weaponry being viable at far distances. The range would be equivalent to our missiles, but far more importantly because of how fast the stream would travel, and therefore gravitational and motion effects rendered effectively moot, pilots would not need to lead their weaponry whatsoever- Point and click, and boom, target hit.
On the other hand, I've also done studies on the material used for shielding in alien spacecraft. The results are quite remarkable - In terms of military application, rather than the traditional composite armor which is more or less multiple compounds sandwiched together, the aliens have fused the 'sandwich' into a single compound. Furthermore, it appears to be geodesic in nature, to a point - in other words, increasing the total armor volume at first results in a disproportionate level of defensive value, which means that while we are quite capable of taking down smaller and medium-sized UFOs with conventional weaponry, anything better shielded is going to require much, much more firepower, as it will be extremely effective in dispersing both piercing, explosive, and laser weaponry.
I must give them credit, this alloy is effectively designed to offer considerable protection against any conventional Earth-based weaponry. I would presume a nuclear missile would be enough to knock out even the terror ships with little difficulty, but those should only be utilized as an absolute last resort, nevermind we do not have access to such. The one weakness I have found is that the ablative shielding can be overwhelmed by extreme heat - Not the conventional 1,000 - 5,000 Kelvins generated by explosive weaponry. Laser weaponry is more effective at penetration, but still not to the degree as to be highly effective in single bursts, at least against heavily shielded targets.
The greatest weakness, in fact, is the alien's plasma weaponry itself - at one point, I successfully managed to set off one of their rifle-equivalent weapons, and it was quite effective in alloy penetration - Yet, there was very noticeable energy dispersion.
At this point, then, I see one of two research paths to advocate - Either we attempt to harness their weaponry for ourselves, which should lead to the benefit of turning their own infantry weapons against them, and give us a weapon with the range of a missile, far greater destructive capability, and a very high ammunition capability.
The problem, though, is in how it works. I believe that somehow that the Elerium compound the aliens use allows them to create a contained magnetic fusion reaction, which they are then able to focus and then direct it offensively. The Elerium itself appears to be the necessary component in creating and containing such a powerful reaction in so small a space - The plasma is approximately 100,000 degrees Kelvin, which would be sufficient to rapidly overwhelm the ablative shielding of alien armor.
Path two is that we investigate the alloys themselves, attempt to learn how to create them, and then we can focus on creating our own armor. Fewer soldiers would die as a result, and it's a well-known fact that combat experience directly translates into increased combat capability.
Furthermore, I tentatively hypothesize that as Elerium can contain a plasma reaction long enough to be used as a weapon, then if there were some way to fuse it with the armor, it would greatly expand the defensive capabilities - Something that I do not believe the aliens themselves have ever realized, or perhaps dismissed as impossible. I don't believe this to be the case - I would need more time, of course, to run experiments and work out the mathematics, but with the results I have produced thusfar I do believe my judgement is sound.
Allen Wren posted:
(sweep, sweep) The temp agency said this would be a government contract with 100% travel. And it is. Janitor at a super-secret lab. Cool by me. The debt collectors can't find me, I'm makin' a fair bit of money, and...what? Oh, all on-site personnel have to undergo arms training? Okay. I'll get that taken care of. (tap broom against wall, sweep up resulting pile) Anyway, like I'm saying, even though the soldiers are a bit nuts, for how often they appear to be DYING, it's kinda reasonable. I've got no complaints, except for when Dr. Sugar Tits over in the lab cuts open another alien thing and leaves the mess for me to muck out and sterilize. Hey, wait. Whaddaya mean "Private" Wren? I'm a contractor. Getattaheah, ya jarhead. (stops sweeping, thinks for a moment)
...I don't like where this is going.