Part 40: X-COM SOLDIER BRIEFING for June 30 - COLONEL CLEARANCE LEVEL
X-COM SOLDIER BRIEFING for June 30 - COLONEL CLEARANCE LEVEL
We scientists at X-COM have been working on many different projects recently and would like to apologize for the lateness of this report. No doubt many of you have questions about recent events, and we will be happy to provide for as many of them as we can.
Many of you have notice a behavioral change in Captain Cooked Auto. Following his collapse at the end of the Washington mission, he has been carefully watched and monitored by X-COM medical staff. He has not, as many people have speculated, swapped his mind with a Chryssalid; such a thing is impossible. There is however, preliminary evidence that his psionic abilities are causing him some kind of physical and mental problem. Tests have showed Cooked Auto has dropped 60 points in IQ as compared to when he first joined X-COM. While there is no direct evidence linking his reduced mental capacity with his psionic training (or any specific psionic attack or contact), we must point out that he is most powerful psionic currently employed by X-COM. If there does exist a danger in psionic use, he would be the first to show it. Further study will hopefully determine the cause of his problem, and hopefully find a way to counter-act it. He will remain on the roster in active duty unless his problem intensifies.
As for the Chryssalid captured, we have been able to determine why it is not hostile to our forces. The Chryssalid in question, named "Chris" by certain unimaginative members of my research staff, burst forth from an infected individual that was under direct psionic control by Cooked Auto. What normally occurs is that the Chryssalid rapidly grows to maturity and operates on instinct and genetic memory for the rest of its life when its host is sufficiently damaged. What we believe occurred was that the control exerted by Cooked Auto left a Psionic imprint on the Chryssalid's mind as it was forming. Chris is for all intents and purposes, a Chryssalid copy of Cooked Auto. Due to the reduced brain size of Chryssalids compared to humans, Chris retains only very basic memories and intelligence. We have surgically removed his claws to prevent accidental infections, and held him in a containment unit for the time being. Despite the claims that the Chryssalids encountered on the Washington mission were different from those previous encountered, we have found no evidence of such. Any other claims of oddities on that mission are also unfounded.
Moving on to research topics, for some time we have been analyzing the various part of UFOs. Starting from the hull itself, we have learned how to create and operate the alien's propulsion system and navigation computer. The results of this research have finally come to fruition.
The Firestorm class vessel is built as a heavy assault interceptor. It is built with enough weapon pods and front armor to finally post a threat to very large UFOs. Capable of flight near the edge of space, its top speed is the highest of any other craft, human or alien. At the insistence of various personnel, the Firestorm has been modified for use as a troop transport as well. Up to ten soldiers, or six soldiers and one tank will fit inside (barely, it is very cramped).
Area 51 is constructing the first Firestorm for X-COM use. It will require the use of nearly one-third of our total alien alloys to construct, and requires Elerium for fuel.
Many soldiers have requested a transfer to this new base, most if not all of them soldiers who fall short in the psi-defense department. All our current soldiers not in psionic training, as well as Interceptor 4, Lord Fancington and Bovines have been transferred over. The space freed up from transferring the Interceptor gives the Early Light engineers the space to construct the next generation of dedicated transport craft.
The Lightning is an excellent counterpart to the Firestorm. It contains only one weapon pod, though it has superior armor to protect its occupants. Up to 28 soldiers can crew a Lightning, though due to hull requirements on a vessel this large there was no room to design a door large enough to fit a tank through.
The biggest drawback to the Firestorm and Lightning is their use of Elerium for fuel. There will come a day when we will use up our stores of Elerium and be forced to return to our previous ships. To prevent the loss of a large quantity of Elerium, the 'fuel tanks' of these ships have been limited to prevent an unacceptable loss of Elerium. The Firestorm does not possess enough fuel to make the trip from Area 51 to Early Light.
Five other projects have been completed. The first is our replacement for the standard rocket tank. The abilities of the Cyberdisk have been combined with the power of the heavy laser to create the Hovertank/Laser Cannon. The Hovertank features similar remote control as the regular tank, as well as a powerful heavy laser and thicker, alien alloyed armor. The Hovertank is an expensive unit and requires a large initial investment of Elerium to power, so extra care must be take to protect our new Hovertanks.
Four or five of the ground mounted plasma beams should be sufficient to destroy any attacking craft before it gets too close to any of our bases. Due to funding issues, plasma defenses will be constructed in Early Light only for the time being.
A creative application of the alien's propulsion system has resulted in a unique form of defense. A gravity wave is used as a repulsor beam, slowing incoming craft by nearly 50%. This in turn gives our defense systems more time to cause damage to attacking UFOs. The Grav Shield is expensive however, and is not currently being built. It is more economical in terms of money and material right now to simply build more plasma defense systems.
The alien grenade uses a microscopic amount of Elerium to create a very tiny anti-matter explosion. We have built up a large stash of these grenades, and have issued them to all soldiers. The timing is excellent with the rocket tank being retired. Each soldier now has an effective explosive option.
The weapon recovered from the Snakeman research base is similar in nature to the alien grenade only much more powerful, and possesses a small maneuvering system. If we could recover the appropriate launcher, this weapon could deliver extreme damage to a target from anywhere on the battlefield to anywhere else on the battlefield. Capture of a blaster launcher would be a great boon.
The ability of X-COM to deal with the Washington attack has greatly pleased the United States and all of our funding countries. (The real ones, anyway.)
Psionic training continues, and the ten soldiers involved have greatly increased their abilities.
June was another rather quiet month of activity from the aliens. Sooner or later we expect a large influx of UFOs, though we are certain our new craft will be up to the task of dealing with any threat.
July will be an exciting month for X-COM.
X-COM Head Scientist,
Dr. Reis Markus
SELECTED FAN ENTRY
Diary L. Takakumi, 7/1/99
'Any other claims of oddities on the mission were unfounded.'
Now, I'm not one for vulgarity, but in this case - bullshit! If there's one thing I know, it's that despite my fun little quirks, and despite my now somewhat hormonal temperament - And I do find myself exhausted every now and again, but not enough to stop working - It's that when I do research, I do it right.
Those bugs were broken somehow, they were nothing like the real thing. That...that HACK is full of it when he claims otherwise. He can't possibly know what it's like to actually face them, the chittering, the utter terror you feel at first, and then the grim coldness that sets in as you melt them into oblivion.
There's only one thing I can possibly think of - Before, I'd merely thought him utterly incompetent which while worrisome still meant his heart was in the right place.
Now? Something's going on. I don't know precisely what as of yet, but I have a few ideas - However, I can't trust that this file is immune to cracking of any sort, so the only place it's staying for now is in my head. Granted, I'm no Otto in the psionics department, but I've volunteered once or twice out of curiosity to be 'attacked', and the worst that's happened is a rather splitting headache one time for a few minutes afterwards. Nevermind he really has no reason to suspect I'm on to him, any hostility on my part, is, well, normal between us.
Oh, but how to test what's going on? I have, mm, three or four theories here but at the moment ruling any out requires playing my hand so I'd get one shot to get it right, and that's just not good enough.
It's just as well I've simply said I spent the last month out of ideas. I've been working on something big - Something very big. It hasn't been easy, especially since I can't do it on base. But when done, I intend to place it directly under Otto's control - I'm certain Markus and perhaps others of high command are corrupt. Otto's the only one of any rank that I am certain is on our side.
Getting off hasn't been too bad, really - I've had Allen go on more 'excursions', but Ms. Cuddles found a suitable paramour on her second visit out. He's been relaxing in my off-base premises, and when I or Allen take her to 'visit', we bring along supplies at the same time.
The hardest part so far has been in altering the stockpiles records. But it's near completion - And then, well, those sons of bitches will not know what hit them.
It's my pride and joy - Right now, I call it the Adauchi after my fallen home.