The Let's Play Archive

X-COM: UFO Defense

by GuavaMoment



UFO activity around the Earth is increasing at an exponential rate. The alien's Hive Ship, along with the High One, will arrive in Earth orbit in two weeks. X-COM losses during missions have begun increasing for the first time in the war. We are scrubbing all future UFO recovery missions as we try to find a solution to the Hive Ship problem.

In the meantime, analysis of the captured Ethereal ship has uncovered a large amount of new alien technologies, none nearly as impressive as the Ethereals themselves. Pulling back the cape on these aliens revealed quite the surprise.

At first, we were stumped at how a creature like this could even exist. The under-developed organs should fail to work at all, and even if they did, the muscles and bones of the Ethereals are far too weak to sustain the being even in very low gravity environments. The observation of psionic use from these aliens did show us the answer to this puzzle - the Ethereals somehow use psionic waves to organize and move matter on a molecular level. While the physics of this are not quite yet understood, this molecular control allows them to mentally make their hearts pump, limbs move, and even levitate their entire body. We suspect that analysis of a live Ethereal would reveal a highly complex autonomous psionic system that regulates various life-functions. Much like humans don't need to consciously control their breathing or heart rhythms, the Ethereals psionically control these functions without conscious thought.

The highly developed psionic abilities of Ethereals go far beyond simply sustaining their biological functions. They are capable of psionic attack at a much greater power, range and skill than the Sectoids. Resistance to psionic attacks is also much higher than any alien we've encountered, but psionic attacks against them can succeed.

Despite the weak physical nature and non-existent sensory organs of Ethereals, their psionic and molecular control powers are not to be underestimated. An Ethereal can mentally sense the location of nearby soldiers. With their psionic assistance, they are faster, stronger and more intelligent than any other alien. Without a doubt, these are the most dangerous aliens we've ever encountered.

The capsules of the Ethereals' UFO served two different functions.

The first contained alien food, much like the meat smoothies our Sectoid Allen drinks/eats.

The second contained early-term cloned aliens. This is cloning system we have heard so much about before, and very similar to the chamber in which we found Allen back in 1998.

Finally, the central section contained a complicated automated harvesting system for processing the food the aliens require.

The amount of food and cloning chambers contained on-board are many times greater than what should be required for a ship of that size. The amount of Elerium stored on-board limits the longevity of the craft, meaning it cannot be a type of long range UFO, meant to operate on its own for extended periods of time. Thus, we concluded that the new type of UFO we encountered was a supply ship. The supply ship touched down in Finland, so teams were sent to see if the could determine the location these supplies were heading to.

A second alien base was discovered. It is a complete mystery as to how this base was constructed. Its location is within detection range of our Hyperwave Decoder. The Finnish government claims it has no knowledge of any alien base on its soil, and wished us luck in destroying it. Unfortunately, we believe the Finnish government to be lying, and are in fact colluding with the aliens, just as the United Kingdom has.

Hostile UFO activity over England has ceased since a battleship landed near London two weeks ago. X-COM contacts within the government have confirmed the aliens have sent shipment of weapons, alloys, and Elerium to the UK as part of their non-aggression pact. The UK has in turn, ceased all X-COM funding and has withdrawn from the project.

The public withdrawal by the UK has set off a chain reaction in nearby countries, such as Finland. The governments of nearby countries fear that X-COM cannot stop the aliens, and are considering following the UK's lead. Directing resources to prevent more countries withdrawing from X-COM is now a waste of time - next month's income won't mean anything as it comes two weeks after the Hive Ship arrives. Unless we somehow win the war at that time, nothing that comes after will matter.

Psionic training and screening is now possible with all of our soldiers. Unfortunately, only three of our soldiers have a sufficiently high psi-attack rating to prove of any use. Our screening did turn up one interesting finding. Originally, we had thought that soldier Jimmy Tango had the highest psi-defense ever recorded. Attempts to use the Mind Probe on him failed completely, leading us to believe he was immune somehow to psionic influence.

As it turns out, the opposite is true. Jimmy Tango has the ability to completely absorb psionic waves. His own brain pattern is highly mutable, adapting to whatever psionic waves it encounters. Simply put, he is a psionic black hole, a point of low potential, the lowest stable equilibrium of psionic waves. A psionic user would find themselves unable to control anyone in their vicinity, except for Jimmy Tango. This quality of his is unique among anyone ever scanned, and it makes him possibly one of our most valuable soldiers. This information is classified below Captain level clearance, meaning Jimmy does not know of his own vital importance. The plan we are developing to assault the Hive Ship will depend on Jimmy and the experience of our other soldiers, which was a contributing factor to our decision to scrub all future UFO recovery missions.

As we draw nearer to the date where the Hive Ship will arrive, we will gather all soldiers for final briefing before undergoing the most important mission X-COM has ever faced.

X-COM Head Scientist,
Dr. Reis Markus