Part 44: The Incredible Flying Muton, Part Two
Chapter 44: The Incredible Flying Muton, Part Two
: We knew that the Mutons would now be coming in force to destroy X-COM. The first real Muton attack was studied very closely by everyone in preparation for what was to come.
UFO 73 -
operating the hovertank
Censorship Nazi, Lazermaniac, Bagpuss, Lord Fancington, Africanus attending.
Casualty: not Lazermaniac
SELECTED FAN ENTRIES
Journal L. Takakumi, 7/12/99
Some say that revenge is a dish best served cold. I disagree, but I'll get to that momentarily.
I haven't quite been feeling well the last few days - Well, ok, I'd be lying to myself if I denied being an utter trainwreck. I don't know what happened, something just...snapped, and I spent two days curled up in bed alternatively sobbing, sleeping, and screaming.
Allen came in once or twice and tried talking to me, but I kept throwing pillows at him.
Psych tried sending some guys in to remove me for treatment. I'd almost feel sorry for them if the warning signs about booby-traps weren't very visibly posted.
It wasn't until Torlon showed up though that things started looking up - First off, he brought my cuddly-wuddly snuggle kitten with him and Mommy just loves seeing her! I can't help but feel better when Cuddlekins is around, and when he told me what she'd been up to, and that cute little purr of hers was rumbling right next to my chin, I couldn't help but be cheered up! She's such a good kitty, using her MEOW like that!
The real prize though was in the MEOW itself - Naturally, I built in recording software, and more importantly, I built in sound dampeners. They just happen to allow Ms. Cuddles to move silently when she feels like stalking or creeping about.
And the recording system just happened to pick up somebody attempting to post another terrible lying image.
From there on out, it wasn't hard to figure out who did it! One of the new recruits whose still in basic training, named Chewbot, got it in his head that he'd get a reputation as a badass by breaking down the 'Insane Ice Queen' as apparently a few call me.
As soon as I knew who it was, it was like all of the mopiness and the tears and the feeling sorry for myself vanished. One shower later, Ms Cuddles and I were ready to go.
We found him in the hallway outside one of the general stores. When he saw me, he froze.
Ms. Cuddles sauntered up casually from behind and just settled in, to make sure he wouldn't run. At that point, I simply smiled.
Subduing him was rather...easy. Humans seem rather vulnerable to large doses of electricity overloading their synaptic processes.
As it turns out, Ms. Cuddles wasn't quite done yet. Amusing as it was...
I didn't want him dead, so I told her to stop. Eventually.
Anyway, we took him back to the lab, where I had him sedated while I came up with just how I would, ooh, even the scales.
Remember my bit about revenge earlier?
In my opinion, it's not best served cold. Revenge is a dish best served with an incredibly large dose of LSD. Like, enough to get a horse tripping for two days of LSD.
After that, sedation and strapping down weren't necessary. I simply let him back out into the halls, and then proceeded to monitor and record his mental state with a psi-amp; I'm no mind control expert, but simply reading what was going on in his head was easy. I also wanted a visual, though, and after a bit of thinking, I rigged up my computer to capture the psi-signature emanating from Chewbot.
A bit of tinkering around, and I was able to record what happened. As to the nature of that, well, I think it appropriate to reveal things in a more public manner.
(Huge Kudos to Torlon for creating all of the images for me!)
Fuck you Tyler.
Yeah, thats right, I'm sending you a letter that starts off with fuck you. Not dear or greetings or even hello. Why so mean you ask? Because you were the fornicating son of a bitch that told me signing up for X-Com would be like joining the national guard. Have you seen my house? They BURNT IT TO THE GROUND! I don't think that is standard recruiting procedure for the national guard.
You know what else is different between X-Com and the national guard? Well, the national guard doesn't have a base at Area 51! Or a bunch of REAL LIVE ALIENS LIVING IN THE COMPOUND!
I HATE YOU SO GODDAMN MUCH YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED YOU SON OF A HDBJAKGHIUADVLGHAUIGH! I'm going to get you for this you rat bastard, you see if I don't. TYLER
Your days are numbered,
Greg "Linall" Samson
Letter after passing through X-Com censors
Fuck you Tyler.
Yeah, thats right, I'm sending you a letter that starts off with fuck you. Not dear or greetings or even hello. Why so mean you ask? Because you were the fornicating son of a bitch that told me signing up for X-Com would be like joining the national guard. X-Com is ten-thousand times better! Yay X-Com! Have you seen my house? They took it and brought it with me to the base. I don't think that is standard recruiting procedure for the national guard. I love X-Com!
You know what else is different between X-Com and the national guard? Well, the national guard have a base at Area 51 and a bunch of aliens! You know, the illegal kind? Anyway, my X-Com base is in
. New York
WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY IS THAT YOU ARE THE BEST FRIEND EVER! I'm going to get you for this you awesome person, you see if I don't. I reccommend that you and all our other friends sign up for X-Com. You know, that one guy... and that other guy. TYLER
Thanks for helping me make the best decision of my life (Because X-Com is great you see),
Greg "Linall" Samson
I'm finally going on my first mission tomorrow! It's so damn exciting, with all the new tech we're developing there's been a big decrease in casualties. Spent last night hanging out with the other soldiers today, finally getting to know them better. It must really suck to be Dr. Takakumi though, what I hear in the barracks when the CO isn't around would probably make her start shooting things and not stop until the base is a smoldering pile of wreckage. I can see where they're coming from, though, she is just about the only woman in the compound except the lunchlady.
This mission was absolute hell. Everyone went in with high spirits, so sure of themselves. I even got a few laughs when I said the Mutons looked like The Hulk if he decided to dip his face into some grape jam. We landed and I went out toward the saucer. There were gunshots and lots of them, people letting loose full auto and the tank's heavy plasma going thoom off behind the saucer. A few of our guys got hit judging by the screams and I was about to hightail it back to the extraction craft when I got hit. I remember plasma searing my chest, feeling my skin burn away. Then darkness. Then I open my eyes again and it's that thee-eyed powersuit helmet right over me. Says "You're gonna be alright, buddy" and sticks me with a stimulant pack. I asked who else was alive, and it was just me, the powersuit guy (his name was Roar I think?) and Africanus. Stimulants take a while to kick in, so everything was still in a haze. I grabbed a gun off the dead alien and followed Roar. Africanus went around the other way, a pincer maneuver. Roar walked by an alien that got knocked unconscious earlier and picked it up. He stood there for a while, staring at it for a few moments and then tossed the alien in the ice-cold water. Damn thing sunk like a brick. He let out this weird little laugh and said "Not like we can take it back anyway, right?" I nodded and we moved on. Right about then we hear gunfire and a scream. I keyed the comm and tried to get to Africanus but he was gone. That left me and Roar. When Africanus went down, Roar just snapped. He raised his faceplate and I could see tears coming down his cheeks and at the same time he was laughing. That sight, that insane man in a power suit with a gun that could burn me to cinders, those eyes, that insane grin... I won't forget those. Never. He just ran toward the saucer's entrance when a muton popped out from behind the corner. The thing just shot Roar in the face, unceremoniously as if it was brushing away a pesky insect. Then it was my turn to snap and I held the trigger of my gun until the muton went down, and I kept on firing until it was nothing but charred bone and melted metal and my finger wouldn't let go of the trigger and I kept firing until the rifle's overheat warning sounded. I dropped the useless weapon and went into the saucer. I thought, if I die, I might as well die fighting the aliens to the last breath. The saucer was empty. The snow fields all around were empty too. Only me, the piercing cold of a Canadian outland and a dozen or so corpses. I dragged the bodies to the transport, every single one except Roar. I couldn't undo his powersuit's locks or bear the sight of his horribly scorched face. I closed the faceplate and left him there. The autopilot in the transport took me back to base. Everyone was telling me about how much of a badass I was and how much I rocked for landing the finishing hits, but that didn't stave off the fact that I was the sole survivor of a whole squad. I have to, no, I WILL become stronger so I can protect my teammates better!
Son Ryo posted:
--in the ruins of
"Damn, it's lonely. I wish someone would come back here. I need someone to haunt."
A bloodstained message is found painted on the wall of the Area 51 mess hall:
DO NOT BELIEVE LAZERMANIAC
WHILE I DID GO ALL KAMIKAZE-LIKE AT THAT MOTHERFUCKER I DID NOT CRY
I WAS TOO BUSY WAVING MY 14 INCH AMERICAN COCK AT HIM TO REALIZE I NEEDED TO DODGE
I DIED LIKE I LIVED, A COLD-HEARTED BROTHA JUST TRYING TO MAKE
I LOST MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT
WHATEVER ANYWAYS GOOD LUCK FELLOW PSI PUSSIES I'LL BE WAITING FOR THE REST OF YOU ONCE THE SECTOID PSI TEAMS GET OFF OF THEIR ASSES AND RAPES YOU
P.S. WHOEVER TOLD THE LADY ENGINEERS TO START SHOWERING IN THEIR SWIMSUITS, I FUCKING HATE YOU AND I'M GOING TO HAUNT THE SHIT OUT OF YOU
Allen Wren posted:
Early Light, 3 AM
Sgt. Wren needed silence to think. Too much activity going on. Too much craziness. The inmates are starting to run the asylum. There's a crawlspace, ten feet cubic and an access panel directly underneath the psionic dampeners. There's a small table and chair down there. With the proper tools, namely an Allen wrench (the irony is not lost on him), an envelope can be removed from the interior of the chair's seat. The Plans needed to be updated. His presence as mitigating factor was no longer wanted in the labs, pillows slung at his head when he tried to step in. Disturbingly, the equally-violence-prone Torlon seemed to be Lily's new guiding influence. And with his "help," she'd gone a bit overboard.
Block lettering on the envelope denotes the contents "Operation Utopia." Utopia, named for the state Wren hopes to bring to Early Light. The chaos needs to stop, or humanity is doomed. The aliens will come back, and we'll all die. Utopia needs to happen. Utopia has five phases---the codename generator had a sick sense of humor when it gave five more birds to the Wren, so he left 'em like that.
Metropolitan Chickadee - First Phase
Request leave from active Ops duty; I'll be of no help to Lily dead or brainmelted.
STATUS - Denied. What the fuck?
Arrogant Grackle - Second Phase
Promote a middle manager to take some of the janitorial/scheduling workload off my shoulders.
STATUS - Accepting Applications.
Automatic Sparrow - Third Phase
Lily appears to be working on some sort of secondary project, and she seems to have locked me out of it. What the hell is she building in there?
STATUS - On hold. It's probably something pretty cool. Also, bigger fish to fry right now.
Learned Starling - Fourth Phase
What the shit is Dr. Markus' deal? He's very tidily consolidated his grip on Science Div., and is definitely not telling the whole truth about what he knows, and about our recent activities. Assigning various janitorial staff to track his activities. Keep Arrogant Grackle igonorant of all this bullshit - let him/her report normally to SciDiv/Markus.
STATUS - Coming soon to an alien-smashing base near you.
Wren flipped the page, looked at the last entry, devoid of any information beyond the title.
Deceased Cardinal - Final Phase
He tucked the papers into his jumpsuit and stepped out of the room.
3:45 AM, multi-function lab 5
Wren speaks aloud, "...I never wanted to go this far. But it's necessary." He points the psiamp at the wall and screws up his face in consternation and concentration, the amp glowing in response. "Okay, I know we're not exactly friends. You've got a real problem with me. And I've got something of a problem with you getting in my business. But that's not important right now. I need you to come on out. I need you to stop fucking around because I actually need your help. If you don't help me, neither of us will be able to save her."
The theory is, if a ghost is, as some say, a psychic impression of a dead person, why wouldn't they be affected by psionics? Whether the theory worked or not, or if the spirit in question just felt like making its presence known or if it was truly summoned, the image of a somewhat taller man appeared behind Wren. A man in X-Com armor. A man with red-lensed sunglasses.
3:45 AM - Early Light, Phase variance .057, Psionic amplitude +3.8
The figure of a man in a red cap and sunglasses, a symbol emblazoned on the armor he still wore long after his death, was troubled. He stood, or rather floated, next to the bed where Lily slept, looking down at her. A lot had happened since he'd died. She was pregnant now, his doing, and her emotions were all out of whack.
He sighed, and she shivered, and he slapped a hand over his mouth. Forgot about that. Ms. Cuddles was curled up next to her, staring up at him. Animals could still see him clearly, but he'd come to an agreement with the cat. Something prickled at the back of his mind.
Allen? Save Lily? What?
Terashell moved with all haste, gathering spare energy here and there, especially from the security cameras around the lab, to manifest himself as he flowed up from behind Wren, staring at the back of the man's head.
(seriously, get fucking skype so we can plan this shit!)
Encrypted File Enter Password: ********
Access Granted: Audio Playback Beginning
Alright I've made some progress so far. First off gaining access to the materials I needed wasn't nearly as hard as I thought, still having some access to the lab, it seems people assume I work for Lily so they don't really bother me when I'm in there. I mean Dr. Takakumi, shit the last thing I need is to get is closer to her. Anyways she has a massive store of supplies in there, alot more then she should need but I suppose she could be working on the new craft I've been hearing about, the thunder or something. That's not important to me right now, I've got mysteries of the universe to solve.
Thanks to Li... Dr. Takakumi I still have access to the X-Com database so I was able to get access to the mission logs and recordings so I can avoid bringing in anyone else for the time being. Access to Pander18's files, as well as all the other medical records are currently out of my reach but we'll work with what I have at the moment. As of now I believe the key is the alien element and the alien alloy, which contains the element. This is because the first ghost to appear is Terashell, who was the first to receive an alien alloy armor suit, and like most of the other ghosts survived a few blasts from alien weapons. This is supported by the mission logs with Pander18, the first time he was pronounced dead he was not hit by direct fire by alien weapons, instead it was an explosion which lodged alien alloy shrapnel from the alien ship all over his body.
Based on Pander18 I believe if I can get the body near death the alien alloy and element might allow the spirit to leave the physical body! Alot more research will have to go on before I'm willing to test this but if my theories are correct I'll need to create something that keeps the body alive while the spirit is free and find a way to get into a near death state without serious long term injuries. Other questions arise too, like can another spirit enter a vacant body? How long can this be done safely? Will this do something to the spirit?
Too many questions and still too few answers, I'll need access to Pander18's files, and maybe Terashell's too. For now though I'll just have to see what I can find out about the alloy and element, who knows, maybe I'll get lucky.
Audio Playback Halted