The Let's Play Archive

X-COM: UFO Defense

by GuavaMoment

Part 59: Knights of Cydonia, Part Two

Chapter 59 - Knights of Cydonia, Part Two

: Deep inside the Cydonian base, you were faced with a choice - probably once the most important choices a single person has ever made in the history of humanity. Were you at all prepared for something like that?

: Not in the least. I was trying to focus on the mission and push the weight of the world that was on my shoulders into the back of my mind.

: I've been acting professionally towards you this entire interview, but I do want you to know you made the correct choice. You shouldn't have any regrets or second thoughts.




Waddle Dee operating the tank

Otto Zander, Director Ulysses, Cooked Auto, Jean Maury, hypern, Linall attending


: The weight of your mission did seem too much to bear for some of your fellow soldiers.

: Linall hadn't seen as much action as I had. I knew I could trust Dee, who'd been with us from the start. Commander Ulysses was a veteran, just not against alien opponents. Cooked Auto had his mental problems before, but those were mostly behind him. The other two I hadn't known very well. I didn't know what they were capable of or if they could handle the pressure.

Director Ulysses: Linall! Get it together! Zander and Maury, cover Linall, I'm going to get into firing position. Find the target!

Cooked Auto: Enemies sighted at the other entrance. What are Ethereals doing here?

Cooked Auto: I'm having a hard time getting a clear reading from this one. There's some kind of psionic interference nearby.

Cooked Auto: At least I've dealt with them now. hypern and Dee, you can come down now, area's clear.

Waddle Dee: Controlling the tank from my transmitter it taking some getting used to, but I'm fine.

Jean Maury: I'm heading off to the North. Looks clear so far.

Otto Zander: One Ethereal and a Sectopod? That can't be everything, I'm getting all kind of psionic signals. It's rather distracting.

hypern: hold on, i see smoething coming!

hypern: that kind of looks like...


Otto Zander: It can't be! They're all dead!

hypern: im getting a good look at it. its definately a chrysallid.

Cooked Auto: Celatids now! Are we in an alien zoo here? What the hell!

Waddle Dee: Careful guys, there's one of those Chryssalid nests here. I don't know why they're here either, but they are and we need to watch out.

Otto Zander: Agreed. We can't afford-

Otto Zander: ...Commander, Cooked Auto - can either of you sense something from near my location?

Director Ulysses: Confirmed. There's a psionic presence here.

Cooked Auto: I sense it too. Whatever we're looking for is in that room.

Director Ulysses: I'll start clearing the path.

Director Ulysses: Right up the tailpipe!

Director Ulysses: How do you like that?!

Cooked Auto: Zander, you sense that? We've pissed it off! It's trying to-

Otto Zander: Yeah, I know, it's trying to get me too!


: You evaded close contact with the High One. This psionic attack was the most powerful you had ever suffered. To what do you attribute your mental defense to? There must be more to it that simply a number that came up on a mind probe.

: Again, training. You sign nursery rhymes in your head, do long division. It's easy to focus on remaining yourself when you're terrified of losing control.

: I see.


Cooked Auto: AH!


Cooked Auto: I have once chance!

Cooked Auto: FUUUUUU-UUUUCK!!!!

hypern: hold still cook, i can save you! fear not!

hypern: bull-eye!

hypern: wait, nevermind, your on your own.

Director Ulysses: It's a long shot, but I might just...

Director Ulysses: Dammit! Missed! ....and I think I may have hit Linall...

Cooked Auto: Hey, maybe things will turn out OK!

hypern: cook, talk to me!

hypern: oh hell.


Hypern: Okay, I'm fucking pissed now. Kill Cooked Auto? Leave me alone to face Chryssalids? It's time to kick this into high gear.

Hypern: You too, Ethereal dickface! You fucked with the wrong guy now!

Jean Maury: What do you want to do about this? I can't stun machines.

Otto Zander: There's one more Sectopod in front of the door. My plasma isn't really doing much to its armor. Can you finish it off Commander?

Director Ulysses: I'd rather not. I only have one shot left, and it's reserved for that psionic entity. Hypern! Can you go to that Ethereal Cooked Auto controlled? It had a Blaster, maybe you can-


Otto Zander: ...damn. Commader, I think we may just be on our own for this.

Otto Zander: There's some good news, I've scared that Sectopod away!

Otto Zander: Maury, stay here. You've come far enough. We'll handle it from here.

Jean Maury: *weeping* ...good luck...

Otto Zander: Gah!


: The Celatid surprised me, but I quickly fired three shots into it.

: That was only two, Otto.


: Never mind.

Director Ulysses: Are there any more surprises down here?

Otto Zander: I hope not.

Director Ulysses: One of us should head up first. Draw any attention while the other waits one second, then heads up and takes a shot at our target.

Otto Zander: Agreed.

Director Ulysses: You understand what I mean? If there are any aliens up there, the first one up probably won't survive.

Otto Zander: I know.

Director Ulysses: I can think of only one way to make this decision fair. You ready?

Otto Zander: One...

Director Ulysses: Two...

Otto Zander, Director Ulysses: THREE!

Otto Zander: Scissors cut paper. My choice.

Otto Zander: I'm going in first, wish me luck.

Otto Zander: WAIT! There are aliens directly above me!

Otto Zander: Psi-amp, don't fail me now!

Otto Zander: There's a large group of Ethereals above us, break out your psi-amp, let's get them all!

Otto Zander: Two down!

Director Ulysses: Hey Otto, it's been awhile, remind me how to use the Psi-amp?

Otto Zander: It's easy, just focus on your target and when you're ready hit the red button to get your Psi on.

Director Ulysses: Ha ha, "Psi on", I like that! Okay, I have control of the last one. Release your control, and I'll kill yours.

Director Ulysses: Last one!

Otto Zander: That was the last by the elevator. Time to-

Director Ulysses: Hell no, you had your shot. It's my turn. You wish me luck now, kid.




Director Ulysses: What the hell are you doing here?

Otto Zander: Do you see it? Shoot it! Now!


Otto Zander: What the hell's taking so long?

Director Ulysses: Otto, you should come up here.

Director Ulysses: There's someone here who wants a word with you.

Reis Markus: Hello, Otto.

Otto Zander: Dr. Markus?!

: I raised my gun at him. I was ready to shoot.

Reis Markus: Please, put your gun down, I'm unarmed. I just want to talk.

Director Ulysses: I don't want to hear your shit Reis, I want you to die, and to blow up that thing behind you.

Reis Markus: Shoot that blaster at this range and we'll all die. Please, let me explain. We're on the same side!

Otto Zander: Ha!

Director Ulysses: You tried to kill us! You fucked around with Early Light's Mind Shield! You led them right to us!

: Gentleman, there is a lot we need to discuss.

Otto Zander: What the hell is that!?

: What I am is not of immediate importance. What you two are IS what is important.

Reis Markus: After all, you two are heroes. You destroyed the Hive Ship!

: Those of us here grouped together to oppose the High One. Mostly Reticulans, or Sectoids as you call them, but we have followers from all of the oppressed species the Ethereals have under control. There are even a few Ethereal defectors amongst us. Destroying the High One has given our movement a momentum, and a purpose we have almost never before dreamed possible.

Reis Markus: Roscoe, this being behind me has been helping humanity since the start of the war.

: I was the one who sent "Allen" to help you in the beginning.

Reis Markus: Remember, you said we couldn't have defeated the High One without Allen! Also, when you were worried the United States was going to cut funding and remove us from Area 51, we helped out. We sent a weak force to gather and modify some remaining Chryssalids and use them in a mock attack on Washington. The Sectoids only had plasma pistols for God's sake, they didn't stand a chance. And what was the result of that attack?

Director Ulysses: The US was greatly impressed with our efforts....they increased funding...

Reis Markus: Exactly! Without that attack, we might have had to abandon Area 51!

Otto Zander: Who cares about then. Right now, you're trying to conquer Earth. I will not trade one oppressor for another.

: I have no intention of oppressing your population. The High One would have psionically controlled you. I will allow you your freedom and autonomy. All I ask in return is human genetic samples. The Reticulan race will die without your help. I am prepared to offer humanity much in return. Technology, ships, Elerium, information and knowledge beyond your wildest dreams. I can offer protection from other forces out there. You have repelled one Ethereal Hive Ship, but there are others. They are a patient species, they will return. There does exist other threats as well. For example, your species has been blessed in that you've never encountered a Wargot.

Reis Markus: There's also something akin to an arms race, or rather a Manhattan project going on right now. A new technology that will change the fate of the galaxy. I've been helping them try to create a dimensional gate generator. A system that will link our universe to the infinite other universes.

: The Ethereals are working on a similar system. The first to perfect this technology will have a huge advantage amongst all other species. We will of course allow humans to become part of our research and future exploration efforts. Surely all that we offer is worth a few hundred thousand genetic samples.

Otto Zander: I don't believe that's ALL you want. Not for a second.

Director Ulysses: And from what we've found out, your abductions involve horrifying procedures.

: I do not deny that, and I offer my apologies. We intend for our genetic recovery missions to be as covert as possible. We try to erase the memories of those we take, and return them uninjured before anyone knows they are missing. If we knew more about your species, we can eventually perfect-

Otto Zander: SHUT UP! I've had enough of this. If you're some kind of psionic supercomputing "brain", killing you ends the alien presence on Earth. Good bye.

: There is so much you do not know. You believe I am merely a computer? I am so much more.

: At one point, I was much like you - a mortal and limited organic being on this planet. At a time when your ancestors were still rodents, scavenging for food, I was selected out of all the other life-forms for a grand project - an experiment to make me ascend. The Reticulans changed me - allowed parts of me to grow on an immense scale, and incorporate all other living beings on this planet into myself. Bit by bit, my psionic potential grew.

: Now that I am no longer in danger of being detected by the High One, I can control our fleet of ships by a thought. Their sensors systems are my eyes and ears. I have complete knowledge of everything that occurs within my range. I have a level of intelligence you could not dream to be possible. I am for all intents and purposes a God to you. Join with us, and we can give one of you two the same power. Your species has a similar potential we never thought possible until recently. All the power and knowledge I possess can be yours if you join us.

Reis Markus: Whoa, hold on, you said I was going to be the one to-

: You have not earned anything. Your potential is weak. Mr. Zander and Mr. Sirius here are different. These two already have powerful psionic abilities. They were able to defeat the Ethereals. They were able to defeat our defenses and present themselves before me. Clearly, these two are the best representatives of your species. Do you understand, Mr. Markus?

Reis Markus: *sigh* Yeah...fine. I agree.

: Join with us, and we can give one of you a power you had never before hoped possible.

Otto Zander: Commander, you know what to do.

Director Ulysses: I-I, I'm not so sure.

Otto Zander: Oh you've GOT to be kidding me! This is a trick! There is no way we can trust it!

Director Ulysses: We've got the gun to its head, though. I don't know if I can trust it either, but we can force it to uphold its end of the deal.

Otto Zander: I don't know, I'd feel safer blasting it.

Director Ulysses: Hey don't get me wrong, I would too. But take a minute to think about it. We really don't know anything about what's out there. Earth is just a small planet, and we know nothing of the big picture. This thing does. The next time hostile aliens show up on our doorstep we might not be so lucky.

: I understand your trepidation, though you should know that it will be much worse for you and humanity in the long term to reject my offer.

Reis Markus: We will be the founders of a new age. How can you reject that?


: And that's when you made the choice.

: Yeah, I looked at the brain and I-

: Walked away.

: It took a lot of courage to accept the offer.

: Wait, I what?

: Look at humanity now. Early Light has been rebuilt. Humanity is safe and secure from hostile alien threats. With the Reticulan's help, we've cured many diseases, eliminated pollution, solved the world's energy crisis...

: No! I swear I...or did I?

: Think back Otto, you lowered your weapon, and you and Roscoe discussed events with Reis and the brain in greater detail. You left Mars standing beside humanity's first and greatest ally.

: No, the brain had to be lying. I didn't agree to anything!

: Yes you did, Otto.

: No, I remember standing there, I was given the ultimatum...

: This is what I was afraid of. The pressure of making such a decision has affected you. You've chosen to forget what you did rather than deal with it. Clear signs of PTSD.

: ...I was considering all the alternatives...NO! I would NOT have agreed to any of this! It's crazy!

: *sigh* I'm sorry Otto, you're getting out of control. I'm going to administer a sedative until you calm down.

: I was standing there, I looked at the brain, and then down at my...

: Why am I holding my gun?

: Excuse me?

: My gun. Why is it in my hand?

: It's been there this whole time.

: No, no, it hasn't. I was not holding it when we started.

: You're hallucinating again Otto. I'm going to give you this, it'll make you feel sleepy, and when you wake up-

: NO! You're not injecting me with anything!

: I have the authority! You WILL submit-

: Who the hell are you, anyway? What was your name? Did you ever even tell me that?

: Hold still Otto, this will be over shortly.


: This is NOT what happened!

Reis Markus: NOOO!!!!

Director Ulysses: Otto!!

: What the hell is going on?

Reis Markus: You idiot! You've doomed us all!

Director Ulysses: You're going to pay for that!

: Seriously, what just happened? What's going on?!

Director Ulysses: You're going to pay for that.

: No wait, Commander!! I think this was a trick! To-

Director Ulysses: Goodbye.

Jean Maury: Wake up, Otto. Are you okay?

: I have no idea what just happened.

Jean Maury: I regained my senses and follow you up here. I saw that you were about to shoot that pulsating thing. I take it that that's the brain? You and Director Ulysses were going to shoot it, but then you guys froze for a second.

: A second?

Jean Maury: It was weird. You just stopped moving for a second, then fired a couple shots at it. What happened?

: One second? All that happened in one second?

Jean Maury: What happened?

: I think I'm starting to understand. Hey where's the rest of the team?

Waddle Dee: Whoa, what am I doing over here? Where's my tank?

: Good to hear you're yourself again. Where are you?

Waddle Dee: I'm by the elevator. All the aliens are gone.

: Stay there, we're coming to meet you.

Jean Maury: Hold on, what about Markus and Ulysses? They're still alive.

: Leave them. We need to leave as soon as possible.

: Keep your eyes peeled for any aliens. Or that guy we were missing. And Lily's cat.

Waddle Dee: Deadmeat was missing.

Jean Maury: Ms. Cuddles is over there by the ship.

Jean Maury: What's she doing?

Waddle Dee: How does that even work through her suit?

: Don't know. Anyway, we should lift off as soon as possible.

Jean Maury: But Markus and Ulysses are still alive! Tell me what happened to them!

: Dee, you knew everyone at the base, right?

Waddle Dee: Most people, yeah.

: Do you remember some psychiatrist lady? Brown hair, about five-nine, bit of an attitude?

Waddle Dee: There was only the one psych guy. And I stress "guy". What are you talking about? What happened to you?

: Suffice to say, Markus and Ulysses...fell to psionic influence. I almost did myself. That thing crafted a fake world for us in its mind. I told it everything I knew, and almost agreed to join the side of the enemy. I broke out, but Ulysses wasn't able to.

Jean Maury: We're just leaving them then?

: They're not the same people we knew. That brain changed them, and I was lucky to avoid having the same happen to me. Don't feel so bad, without the brain the alien's UFOs won't navigate. The aliens are stuck here. The power in the two suits will run out before the stun bomb wears off. It'll be a peaceful death. We're doing them a favor. I'm sorry, I don't expect you to understand.

Waddle Dee: Okay, if it's a psionic thing, then fine, but what do we tell everyone back home?

: We need to agree, right here right now. They were killed by Cyberdisks, got it?

Waddle Dee: Okay...

Jean Maury: Does that make you the first person on Mars, then?

: No, I was the second. Oh wait, third behind Markus.

Waddle Dee: Though I have to admit, I don't understand what Ulysses said when he made his first step.

: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi - It means roughly "thus passes the glory of the Earth". I think he was trying to make a statement that Earth and humanity aren't special anymore, we're a tiny, tiny part of something much larger. This war has changed us as a people, and we have to be wary of what's happening in outer space now. We can't focus on our one little planet anymore.

Jean Maury: I hope we're prepared for it.

Waddle Dee: And for whatever's out there.

: Me too. Otherwise I just made a horrible mistake...


Casualties: hypern, Linall, Cooked Auto

MIA: Roscoe Ulysses Sirius, Reis Markus